Decarbonising our estate

To meet our carbon neutral target, we must eliminate all carbon emissions from council-owned buildings by 2040.

To do this we will need to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, replace all oil and gas heating systems with low carbon alternatives, and generate any energy used from renewable sources.

Reducing emissions from heat and improving energy efficiency

In 2021, building on the progress already made by the historic borough, district and county councils, we undertook a huge programme of work to further reduce carbon emissions from our buildings. 

This work was funded through the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, a scheme set up to provide grant funding for heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency projects in public sector buildings.

Over a year, we installed energy saving and renewable energy measures at over 200 council-owned sites (including schools, leisure centres and libraries).

The full impact of the programme won’t be known until technologies have been operating for a year, but it’s predicted that the whole programme of work (which has included over 350 measures) could be expected to save as much as 9 million kilowatt hours of energy each year. 

Use the map below to see where these measures were installed:

Energy efficient schools

Dorset's historic councils have a proven record in reducing our buildings’ carbon footprints, with Dorset County Council being an earlier adopter of energy management systems in schools.

In 2011, Dorset’s schools were recognised as being the most energy efficient in the country, when Dorset County Council came top of the LessEn table. 

The table ranked 152 local authorities and took data from nearly 12,000 primary and secondary schools. 

LessEn calculated that more than £1billion of energy savings could be achieved if all 152 local authorities worked on similar strategies as those applied by Dorset.

Further work has been undertaken since to make sure energy use in our schools remains low.