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Carbon footprint of public sector buildings in England and Wales to be released

Our buildings consume energy not only when they are being constructed but also mostly while they are being used. A few years ago the Stern Review highlighted that buildings' carbon impact is not negligible and we should pay attention to it. Obviously the first, and most important step, is to monitor how much energy they consume. Now England and Wales are doing one more step, they are publishing this information.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy has unveiled the energy efficiency details of more than 40,000 public buildings – including schools, hospitals and council offices – through a Freedom of Information Act request. By using this handy map users can find out how efficient – or inefficient – they are.

Following the European Union energy label, which defines a set of energy efficiency classes from A (best) to G (worst), one can see how in London, for example, the Hackney Service Centre gets a mere G, and the Homerton Hospital an E and a G. In fact there are fewer than 200 A-rated buildings among the whole list, and thousands of G-rated.

uk publicbuildings map thumb Carbon footprint of public sector buildings in England and Wales to be released

The Department of Energy and Climate Change cut its carbon footprint by 20%, compared with 2009, through a variety of measures including heating adjustments and making better use of office space. But the headquarters of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Westminster scores just an E.

Other key findings are:

• 40,146 public buildings are covered, including schools, government departments and council offices.

• 119 buildings get more than 50% of their electrical energy from renewable power – 0.3%.

• Only 568 buildings get 1% or more of their electrical energy from renewable energy sources – 1.4%.

• A leisure centre in Surrey uses the most electricity proportionally of any building on this list. The Spectrum Leisure complex in Guildford, uses 475 kw per hour per square metre.

• Manchester University has the highest carbon emissionson this list. It produced 51,601 tonnes of CO2 in 2008 – and, perhaps unsurprisingly, has an energy rating of E.

Check out the map and see how (in)efficient are public buildings in your district and then call people to action. Let's save a some energy, it will be useful in the near future.

Via: The Guardian