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Our Plan

Our target is for the Council to be carbon neutral by 2030, but we are also working to support the wider district to become carbon neutral. So our climate action is broadly split into two areas – to directly reduce Mid Devon District Council’s own greenhouse gas emissions, and to enable the wider district to reduce emissions and to adapt to the changing climate. 

Read our Climate Strategy and Handbook for more detail (October 2020).

Our actions so far

The Council's Climate Action Plan and its Climate Strategy link into our Corporate Plan to highlight tangible, feasible, affordable projects.  We seek benefits that will make a real impact - and some of this work has already come to fruition. 

Community and Local Economy 

  • We have a new Climate Emergency planning policy statement and launched the Local Plan review with Climate Change as the top priority

  • Bin It 1-2-3 collections enable all Mid Devon's communities to cut greenhouse gas emissions by hitting even higher recycling rates. All waste collected by Mid Devon is either recycled or used as feedstock for a heat recovery process, with no waste collected by Mid Devon sent to landfill. 

  • We work with Exeter Community Energy to help energy-saving advice services benefit every Mid Devon household. We encourage home owners to sign up to energy saving initiatives such as the energy tariff switching scheme, Eco Flex Scheme, and a Solar panel group buying scheme.

  • We will soon welcome new Electric Vehicle chargepoints at 6 Council car parks in Crediton, Cullompton and Tiverton (installations start 2023) made possible through our participation in Devon's Deletti partnership. 

  • During 2022-2023 the Instavolt rapid Electric Vehicle chargers at 3 Council sports centres saved over 82 tonnes of CO2 by charging cars with green power! More about EV chargers

  • The Council heard from communities for the State of the District Debate in April 2022 with the theme: Devon’s Communities and Climate Change. This will inspire Council work with communities to address the climate crisis. 

Homes

  • We have launched super-efficient Zed Pod homes at Cullompton and Tiverton with Net Zero energy performance designs. 

  • We have made energy efficiency improvements to thousands of council-owned homes, set budgets to keep on "investing to save" and have bid for funding to do more. A retrofit pilot project at 2 Lapford homes uses filtered air circulation and heat recapture to maximise comfort and minimise heating bills. 

  • The Council proposes 70 ultra-efficient homes at Post Hill with Passive House designs to provide affordable housing and social housing.

Nature-based solutions for climate adaptation and flood management

  • The Council is a partner in the Connecting the Culm project that works with farmers and communities on citizen science and nature-based solutions for climate adaptation and flood risks. 

  • Mid Devon District Council is grateful to the community volunteers who helped to plant 1,100 native trees on Aggregate Industries UK land in 2023 as part of AIUK's nature area project at Uffculme.  

  • Mid Devon District Council is grateful to all who helped to plant 92 trees on Council land in 2023 including standards at Old Park in Tiverton, a new Oak Close Community Orchard in Tiverton, and a new community orchard at Newton St Cyres. We also host over 50 new fruit trees planted in 2022 by Tiverton Tree Team volunteers at the new Tiverton Community Orchard. Plus 615 native trees on Council land in 2021-2022 made possible by Devon County Council’s Emergency Tree Fund, a generous grant provided by The Woodland Trust. 

  • All these trees will capture carbon and boost biodiversity for many years to come. Thank you to all involved! 

A Carbon-Cutting Council

  • We support remote and hybrid working to cut commuting emissions and benefit the wellbeing of our teams and communities.  

  • We have invested £2.8million in cutting carbon at the Crediton and Tiverton leisure centres by installing low-carbon heating systems as part of the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. 

  • We have boosted energy efficiency by investing £300k from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme in smart LED lighting at Phoenix House, at the multi-storey car park in Tiverton, and at all 3 district leisure centres. These investments and efficiency measures will cut 520 tonnes of CO2 emissions during their lifetime, and should save £40k - £50k in electricity bills annually. 

  • Low-carbon and renewable energy features at our leisure centres include wood biomass heating fuelled by locally-sourced woodchip, air source heating / cooling, and solar photovoltaic panels (making electricity). 

  • Our Street Scene depot near Willand has 250 square metres of solar PV panels (~49kWp). 
     
  • The Council's office base at Phoenix House hosts a solar PV array and wide range of energy saving measures

  • The 2020 fleet contract for Mid Devon, in partnership with Exeter City Council, allowed us to trial new eco-friendly recycling vehicles. We now use these excellent recycling trucks! 

  • The Council has ordered 10 Electric Vehicles to replace old diesel vans on our fleet, which will save around 25 tonnes CO2 annually. 
  • We will consider the climate impact of all reports and projects that go through the Council’s committee system. 

Monitoring our progress

The Council’s Carbon Footprint

The Council reports its ‘Greenhouse Gas Inventory’ or ‘Carbon Footprint’ which is an assessment of its climate change impact as an organisation, measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). The tCO2e is based on the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of different greenhouse gases over a 100-year period in comparison to carbon dioxide (CO2).

The ‘baseline’ year was April 2018 - March 2019. Nett emissions are calculated based on reductions in greenhouse gas emissions linked to e.g. by generating renewable energy. The Carbon Footprint assessments have been carried out independently by the Centre for Energy and Environment at the University of Exeter using internationally accepted methods, and cover Scopes 1, 2, and 3. An improved methodology and UK Emissions Factors for 2022-2023 was applied retrospectively to all assessed years in order to provide consistently comparable analysis. (Old figures shown in brackets.) 

 

Year  Gross (tCO2e) Nett (tCO2e)
April 2018 - March 2019 17,032 (was 20,078) 17,032 (was 20,078)
April 2019 - March 2020 16,033 (was 19,231) 16,024 (was 19,223)
April 2020 - March 2021 14,725 (was 17,414) 14,717 (was 17,406)
April 2021 - March 2022 16,656 (was 20,744) 16,415 (was 20,503)
April 2022 - March 2023 17,911 17,730

 

Annual GHG Emissions in Tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) split by Scope

Tonnes of CO2 equivalent

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Scope 1

 6,535

 6,887

 7,026

 7,077

 6,655

Scope 2

 3,625

 2,705

 2,460

 2,367

 2,270

Scope 3

 6,872

 6,440

 5,238

 7,213

 8,985

Offset Carbon

 -  

 (9)

 (8)

 (241)

 (181)

TOTAL (net)

 17,032

 16,024

 14,717

 16,415

 17,730

TOTAL (gross)

 17,032

 16,033

 14,725

 16,656

 17,911

 

Carbon Footprint figures split by Scope 2018-2019 to 2022-2023. Source: University of Exeter.

(Please note. Consistent methodological approach combined with changes to official reference sources such as emissions factors may result in changes made in retrospect to figures published for previous years.) 

 

Corporate Plan aims and Climate Strategy priorities

The tables below briefly summarise actions and progress in achieving the Council’s Corporate Plan 2020-2024 aims and Climate Strategy 2020-2024 priorities.

Progress in achieving Corporate Plan aims

Ref

Relevant aims in the Corporate Plan

Notes on actions taken

 

Environment

 

Env

01

Encourage retrofitting of measures to reduce energy usage in buildings.

Property. Solar PV on Council facilities.

  • 2021: Heat Decarbonisation Plan completed for Phoenix House and leisure centres. Assessed by independent consultants funded by Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). 
  • 2021:  £300k PSDS project completed replaced lighting with LED.
  • November 2023: £350k PSDS bid submitted for Culm Valley.
  • November 2023: the Council announced completion of the decarbonisation projects at Lords Meadow Leisure Centre (now completely off gas) and Exe Valley Leisure Centre. Heat pumps capture free heat energy from the air and ground, assisted by renewable power from expanded arrays of solar panels. This transition to sustainable energy and smart integrated management systems marks a key milestone on the Council’s journey to Net Zero.

Council Housing. Ongoing maintenance and improvement cycles. Roof solar PV generation. Exemplar retrofit at Lapford. Funding needed to implement full-scale project.

Housing: Public Health / Private Sector. Partnership delivery of Green Homes Grant phase 2 has achieved 149 home installations e.g. insulation, ventilation, solar PV. During 2023 we set up ECO4 to support private sector retrofit. 

Env

02

Encourage “green” sources of energy, supply new policies and develop plans to decarbonise energy consumption in Mid Devon.

Strategy. The C&S Specialist has encouraged Council investments in local renewable energy; also to support community renewable energy schemes.

Property. October 2022: around 50% of supply to our main assets was REGO-backed renewable; issues due to market volatility. October 2023: the Council  switched to 100% REGO-backed electricity supply for all sites and this will continue through its 2024-2028 energy supply contract. 

Revenues and Benefits. Teams administer green rates relief for carbon reduction measures. 

Housing. Social housing roof space leased to host Solar PV to generate green power for tenants with substantial cost savings, and reduce demand on the local network. Exported surplus power adds to local flexibility.

Community. 2020-2024, Council partnered the Solar Together Devon project to install solar PV and battery storage in households, now almost completed at Mid Devon.

  • The Council promotes community support e.g. retrofit and energy advice via Exeter Community Energy.
  • Electric Vehicle charge points at Council car parks use renewable energy to cut emissions; leisure centres each host 2 chargepoints (2 points per machine). The Deletti concession will deliver at least 10 rapid chargepoints at 5 more car parks.
  • Liaison with National Grid Energy Distribution to promote development of the local power infrastructure.

Env

03

Identify opportunities to work with landowners to secure additional hedgerow planting, biodiversity and reforestation.

  • Options for investment reports passed from Environment PDG to Cabinet, December 2022.  
  • The C&S Specialist set the Council as strategic partners to deliver tree planting via the Devon County Council’s Emergency Tree Fund, a grant provided by The Woodland Trust.

 

Consider promoting the designation of the Exe Valley as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

  • Considered. Please refer to Corporate Plan mid-term review. 

 

Ref

Relevant aims in the Corporate Plan

Notes on actions taken

 

Housing

 

H

01

Introduce zero carbon policies for new development.

 

·  The Council’s new Climate Emergency Planning Policy Statement helps us to enable and ask for development / retrofit to address climate issues.

·  The new Housing Strategy responds to the Council’s Net Zero priority.

H

02

Encourage the piloting of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and self-build opportunities.

·  The Council is a supporter of the National Custom and Self Build Association and continues to invite proposals for custom and self-build projects.

·  Zed Pod modular housing; delivery going well.

H

03

Use new development as opportunities to help communities to become increasingly sustainable and self-sustaining at neighbourhood level (district heating, energy use, recycling/reuse etc).

·  The C&S Specialist works with others e.g. Forward Planning to help realise this aim. Provided input to help develop: Culm Garden Village Sustainability Strategy; Cullompton Town Centre Masterplan; Cullompton Heritage Action Zone ideas; Neighbourhood Plans; Housing Strategy.

·  As above: Climate Emergency Planning Policy.

 

Ref

Relevant aims in the Corporate Plan

Notes on actions taken

 

Economy

 

Ec

01

Promote zero carbon exemplar sites within commercial settings.

 

Ec

02

Use car park pricing mechanism to effectively balance vehicular access needs with those of reducing car use.

No action so far. (Potential to forecast pricing effects alongside new investment in active travel infrastructure, car chargers, rail etc.)

Ec

03

Promote the development of the farming economy and local food production.

·  Emphasis on sustainable farming, research and innovations.

·  Local sourcing and networks signposted on Sustainable Mid Devon website. (as above)

Ec

04

Working in partnership with farmers to develop and grow markets on the principle of reducing carbon emissions and sustainability.

As above.

 

Ref

Relevant aims in the Corporate Plan

Notes on actions taken

 

Community

 

C

01

Work with developers and DCC to deliver strategic cycle routes between settlements and key destinations.

Transport led at county level. The need to inform and influence county was discussed at Net Zero Advisory Group (NZAG) and Environment PDG.

C

02

Secure decent digital connectivity for all of Mid Devon.

Cross-team approach e.g. Planning and Economy to realise this aspect.

C

03

Work with education providers to secure appropriate post-16 provision within the district to minimise the need to commute out for A/T level studies.

Economy to realise this aspect.

C

04

Promote new, more integrated approaches to promoting good health and healthier living especially in the context of planned new developments.

Cross-team approach e.g. Planning and Economy to realise this aspect.

Actions for Climate Strategy 2020-2024 Key Priorities

Ref

Climate Strategy

Key Priorities

Notes on actions taken

1

Increase climate knowledge, literacy and capacity at Mid Devon District Council.

Climate literacy training will be created and rolled out to staff and Councillors.

·  Basic online modules for everyone.

·  More in-depth training of key staff who can act as internal experts on particular activities.

·  In-person thematic briefings to relevant officers and Councillors.

 

Extra staff time will be brought in to drive and coordinate climate work.

Net Zero Advisory Group (NZAG) active. C&S Specialist in post March 2021.

 

·  A mix of informal online resources and structured learning is available. External learning resources promoted to Members and staff via ‘Sustainable Mid Devon’ website and newsletters.

·  C&S Specialist and Learning and Development Specialist trained as Carbon Literacy trainers; full course delivered to 4 Members Jan 2023.  

·  Themed briefings to Members e.g. emissions targets; the Climate and Sustainability Programme; sustainable farming; local electricity network; sustainable development and climate issues; Climate as a priority for the Local Plan.

2

Identify schemes that will put us on track for net zero carbon by 2030.

Working with partners and residents, we will identify new initiatives and ways of working that will develop and progress our plan. This includes working with the Devon Carbon Plan, as it emerges.

·  Work to facilitate and manage the Council’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is ongoing.

·  Selected items on the CAP considered by Corporate Management Team with regard to Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP), etc.

·  Selected proposals and potential projects presented at Environment PDG and Cabinet.

3

Enable and encourage the use of renewable energy locally. 

·  Including getting the hydroelectric scheme in Tiverton running to provide renewable energy to the Council offices.

·  Roll out Electric Vehicle charging points - residential and commercial.

·  Partner with Solar Together to support residential solar uptake.

·  Solar PV projects being considered.

·   Hydroelectric scheme planning application submitted; scheme reviewed, update to follow.

·  The Council hosts EV charge points at 3 leisure centre car parks powered by renewable energy.

·  Solar Together project delivery almost complete (solar PV and battery installations).

·  Regular liaison with Western Power for local infrastructure needs.

4

Create a 'Community Climate & Biodiversity Support Fund'. 

There are many local residents and community-led organisations that, with a bit of financial support, will work to reduce carbon emissions and increase local biodiversity. We see this as part of our partnership approach.

This was one of the options for investment passed from Environment PDG to Cabinet.

 

Devon Carbon Plan

Mid Devon District Council is a signatory to the Devon Climate Declaration. MDDC has worked within the Devon Climate Emergency partnership to help shape the Devon Carbon Plan, and to apply relevant parts of the Devon Carbon Plan to our own work. 

The Devon Carbon Plan has been subject to a series of ongoing public consultations