A PROJECT to install energy efficiency upgrades at Caerphilly council buildings are saving the authority more than £400,000 per year and reducing its annual carbon output by over 2,500 tonnes.

Upgraded lighting, energy efficient boilers and state-of-the-art insulation are among a number of improvements which will contribute towards saving the council £4.4 million over the lifetime of the technologies.

Examples of projects undertaken throughout the region include the installation of pool covers in Newbridge and Caerphilly leisure centres, replacing oil boilers with gas in local residential homes and insulating pipework in schools.

Cllr Ken James, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and sustainable development at Caerphilly council, said: “In the face of severe financial challenges which are affecting councils across the country, these energy efficiency upgrades are enabling Caerphilly Council to considerably reduce its annual energy bill. The technology effectively pays for itself by reducing our energy demand and, once repaid, the energy bill savings provide a welcomed boost to the council’s budget.”

The green installations have been made possible with the help of interest-free funding from Salix Finance, a Welsh Government-funded provider of interest free finance for the public sector. To date, Caerphilly council has invested over £1.5 million in its energy efficiency works.

As well as easing pressurised council budgets, these projects are also contributing towards the nationwide carbon reduction targets with the projects savings over 2,500 tonnes of carbon each year.

Lucinda Green, Salix Finance programme co-ordinator for Wales said: “An energy bill for an entire council is significant when you add up the cost of street lighting, powering offices, and lighting and heating schools, leisure centres and other public buildings. By installing energy efficient technology in council-owned buildings across the county, Caerphilly Council has been able to reduce the volume of electricity required to power its buildings and considerably reduce its annual fuel bills in the process.”