Route map planned for Suffolk town to become net carbon zero by 2030

Leiston town centre and signs

Net Zero Leiston aims to make the town carbon neutral by 2030 - Credit: Archant

A pilot project is underway in Leiston for the town to become net zero carbon - and if successful could be replicated in other parts of East Suffolk.

Net Zero Leiston has seen East Suffolk District Council, Suffolk County Council, EDF Energy which runs Sizewell B, and Leiston Town Council come together to produce a "route map" for the town to become zero carbon - removing as much energy as is produced - and in such a way that other communities would then be able to adopt it.

According to East Suffolk Council data, the Leiston area produces around 12,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, and needs to reduce that by more than 1,000 tCO2 per year - the equivalent of removing 567 petrol cars from the town's roads.

Measures that have so far been helping make a difference include wind turbine power for the industrial estate and solar panels on residential and commercial buildings,

However, there are also a host of other measures on the the route map.

They include:

  • Ambitions for installing loft and cavity wall insultation in all homes
  • Replacing old gas boilers with more energy efficient alternatives or heat pumps
  • Encourage electric bikes and cars to replace petrol engine vehicle journeys
  • Plans to plant 36hectares of woodland

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Elsewhere, a low cost tariff is being created by EDF, the Net Zero Leiston tariff, to make low carbon energy sources more affordable, and discounted hybrid heat pumps for homes reliant on gas or oil tank heating

James Mallinder, Conservative cabinet member for the environment at East Suffolk Council and steering group member, said: "What we are trying to build is environmentally sustainable communities.

"Everybody has to be engaged to make this work - this is the big challenge we have.

"Net Leiston is engaging with everybody, particularly led through the town council, with EDF Energy, the district and the county and the University of Suffolk involved.

"Net Zero Leiston aims to create a replicable model for how to reach net zero on a town-scale, whilst also enabling Leiston to become a showcase for net zero, demonstrating how the model can be realised.

"Engaging the community with clear messaging about what the project hopes to achieve and how the community can play its part, whilst demonstrating the clear benefits to them doing so, creates a strong recipe for community change."

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