The UK District Energy Association Founder Member: Birmingham City Council
Birmingham is developing its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan with the aim of cutting CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025.
This is an ambitious aim, and the effective delivery of decentralised district energy schemes across the whole city will be one of the key mechanisms to achieve this. In 2003 Birmingham City Council (BCC) started to develop a plan for the construction of such schemes to serve much of the heart of Birmingham. These included one based around Broad Street linking many of Birmingham’s high profile Central Business District buildings; and Eastside, initially comprising Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Aston University, Council administrative buildings and the large Eastside Regeneration Area.
After a competitive public procurement process, BCC selected Utilicom Ltd to deliver these schemes and signed the first 25 year energy supply agreement in December 2006 with the company for the Broad Street Scheme. Birmingham District Energy Company (BDEC) has been formed by Utilicom as the company to deliver these schemes.
Birmingham District Energy Company Ltd (BDEC) is:
• a wholly owned subsidiary of the Utilicom Group the UK’s leading developer of Sustainable District Energy Schemes.
• owned and operated by Utilicom in partnership with Birmingham City Council (BCC).
• an Energy Services Company (ESCo) which will design, build, finance, own and operate sustainable district energy schemes across Birmingham.
The schemes developed by BDEC will:
• deliver significant emission reductions, making a substantial contribution towards the City’s large CO2 savings target.• provide significant financial savings to the City Council and all other organisations connected to the scheme.
The first of BDEC’s sustainable district energy schemes has now been constructed to serve Birmingham’s Central Business District in the Broad Street area of the City. BDEC is also working to develop schemes in the Eastside Regeneration Area and ultimately link the schemes together.
The Birmingham Declaration
Birmingham City Council reaffirms its commitment to tackling climate change and resolves to use its purchasing power and influence as a vehicle to stimulate green initiatives which will provide significant employment opportunities for Birmingham people and reduce the energy bill of all citizens and businesses in the city. With an annual turnover of over £3bn Birmingham City Council has the capacity to lead change and influence markets across the city and the UK.
In comparison to many of our European neighbours Britain is using far less renewable energy as proportion of our total use. Birmingham City Council has a duty to one million people to influence and change behaviour.
Therefore this Council believes that by 2015:
• all vehicles procured by the Council should be electrically powered or run on liquefied petroleum gas.
• there will be at least 500 electric cars running on the streets of the city as we will develop the electric charging infrastructure.
• 50% of electricity used by the Council should be generated from renewable sources.
• the City Council's energy consumption will be reduced by 25%.
• 10% of Birmingham homes will be linked to district heating systems.
• 10% of Birmingham homes will have retrofit insulation.
• there will be at least 10 "low carbon communities" similar to the successful example of Summerfield Eco-neighbourhood.
Birmingham's Green Flag Awards
Progress made by Birmingham City Council and partner agencies on tackling climate change and meeting the housing needs of citizens has been praised in the first-ever Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) of the city.
In the area assessment, Birmingham was awarded two Green Flags, one for tackling climate change and reducing CO2 emissions, the other for working in partnership to meet housing need. Green flags are awarded when it is judged that there is exceptional performance or outstanding improvement in a specific area of work which others could learn from. In terms of the effort to tackle climate change, inspectors said Birmingham stood out as one of the few places that had set out long term strategies (to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent on 1990 levels by 2026) and targets to make a positive difference on the agenda.
Birmingham City Council
Telephone: 0121 303 1111