DCC: Carbon Management Programme and Project Manager

Elvet Consultants have recently completed a nine month commission in Febraury 2013 on behalf of Durham County Council to develop their carbon reduction programme. For more information on this interesting commission please read the article.

Elvet Consultants were seconded into Durham County Council on a full time basis to help support the progression of the authorities Carbon Management Programme. A target of a 40% reduction in the Council’s Carbon emissions by 2015 had already been established in the authorities Carbon Management Plan, but the delivery of the capital and behavioural change projects required to achieve this target were slow to be implemented.

Elvet consultants seconded a senior resource into the authority and the initial key tasks included:

  •  A review and formalisation of the existing governance arrangements
  • The establishment of a programme structure using the Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) principles
  • Driving the definition of new projects with clear baselines and benefits
  • Instilling ownership on the internal project management team
  • Developing a standardised Project Management methodology based on Prince2 but tailored     to suit the authority’s needs

The processes were then implemented by Elvet using a combination of training the in-house delivery teams and ‘leading by example’ by developing a number of key capital projects;

  • The Building Energy Efficiency Project – A circa £1.3m capital investment into 4 existing council properties (including leisure centres and offices) with the view of recovering the capital investment by the reduction in future energy costs. The energy efficiency measures included the installation of combined heat and power units, the introduction of heat recovery into air handling systems, the installation of high efficiency light fittings with improved controls and the installation / upgrading of Building Management Systems to improve the level of control of the buildings environment. The simple payback for the scheme is estimated at 7 years with a reduction in carbon of 787 tonnes of CO2.
  • Biomass Boilers – The authority had several existing boilers and was looking to increase their portfolio whilst at the same time benefitting from the governments Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) scheme. The project included the registration of existing installations with the RHI scheme, the review of the existing portfolio of boilers to develop a standardised specification and the installation of a new billet fuelled boiler at a remote tourist attraction in the county. The new billet fuelled boiler has a simple payback of circa 11 years, a carbon saving of 18.4 tonnes of CO2 and a projected year 1 reduction in energy costs of nearly 25%.
  • Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) in Schools – The EPC project concentrates on the authority’s secondary school estate and working with the authorities LEP partner, seeks to deliver a true EPC project utilising Private Finance to fund energy improvement measures in schools with guaranteed paybacks on investment.

The role also included the management of the programme which involved supporting the evolution of circa 15 projects and 3 individual boards. Some examples of the other projects within the programme include the installation of a new Evaporative Cooling system in one of the Council’s data centres which is targeting a 75% reduction in annual electricity usage.

There are also projects that are tackling the behavioural side of energy consumption and encouraging people to think more about saving energy. This initiative is being delivered through the council’s thriving eco-champion network whose job is to provide support to staff at a staff level within every council building.

For further information regarding this blog please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 501 8690 or at info@elvetconsultants.co.uk.