Cutting carbon, saving cash Reducing the amount of carbon we produce is good news for the environment…and our pockets. Why? Because using less energy to cut carbon often means spending less cash. In 2010/11, the county council’s carbon emissions was 87,600 tonnes – including schools which accounted for 45%. And we reckon our new target of reducing our carbon emissions by 25% based on 2010/11 figures will save us more than £3m. We’re looking at each department and service’s energy usage at the moment so we can help you to bring your costs down. But there are some simple things we can do too and we all need to play a part. That’s why we’re asking everyone to follow some simple environmental steps. We’ll be giving you loads of tips on how to save money and carbon over the next few months. And here’s a few to get you started. They might seem like common sense but they’re often overlooked. 1. Charge up your personal mobile phone at home. 2. Make sure you turn off mobile phone and laptop chargers at the socket when not in use. They still draw energy – even if they’re not connected to your phone or laptop. If we all left chargers plugged in while not in use it would cost the county council £53,728 per year. 3. Turn off all possible plugs at the socket when you leave for the day. It might help to label plugs which can be turned off and those which can’t. 4. Switch your computer off when you leave for the day by shutting it down and, where possible, switching it off at the plug. This saves more than £90 and 404kg of carbon per year per computer. 5. Switch the lights off if you’re the last one leaving the office. And switch off lights in stairwells and other communal areas too if they’re not needed. 6. Use natural light where possible instead of electricity 7. year. Unplug microwaves in office kitchens when not in use to save £13 and 80kg of carbon each 8. Don’t overfill the kettle. Boiling water uses a relatively high amount of energy. Only boil the water you need and after 12 months you’ll have saved enough energy to run a fridge freezer for almost a year. 9. Set your printers to automatically print both sides. We use 50 million sheets of paper a year costing around £223,000. That’s equivalent to around 600 trees. For help with printing settings call Service Desk on 37777 10. Use telephone and video conferencing, where possible, instead of travelling to meetings. You can find more top tips and information about what we’re doing to help cut carbon on dnet. Look-up ‘mini guides’ under ‘working for us’. Myth busters Things you thought you knew about saving energy: • Switching lights on and off uses more energy than leaving them on if you’re only leaving the room for a short time. WRONG! • It takes more energy to boot up your computer than leaving it on all night. WRONG! • Repeatedly turning computers and lights on and off reduces their lifespan. WRONG! • If the toner on your photocopier needs changing or there’s a paper jam, it’s ok to leave overnight and sort the next day because the photocopier will stay in low energy ‘sleep’ mode. WRONG! - it will stay in ‘active’ mode using 17 times more energy • You should switch off plugs to your computer and other electricals at the socket, otherwise they will continue using energy – even if the appliance is turned off. CORRECT! What cutting carbon means for us Climate change is an environmental problem which isn’t going away. And it’s expensive too. As well as dealing with the cost of making sure our services can stand up against the effects of climate change in the future, we’re now taxed on the amount of carbon we produce. We reckon our carbon tax bill for emissions produced in 2011/12 will be around £650,000. And with tax currently set at £12 a tonne and rising, it’ll become increasingly costly in the future. That’s why we’re cracking down to reduce our carbon emissions by 25%. It’s better for the environment and it saves us money. And that means saving jobs and services too. Based on 2012/11 figures, we need to make the following carbon reductions by 2014/15: Corporate resources and chief executives’ – from around 4,831 tonnes to 3,623 tonnes – a saving of more than £273,500. Children’s services (excluding schools) – from around 5,056 tonnes to 3,792 tonnes – a saving of more than £637,700. Adult care - from around 4,911 tonnes to 3,683 tonnes – a saving of more than £745,900. Environmental services - from around 5,160 tonnes to 3,871 tonnes – a saving of more than £172,600. Cultural and community services – from around 1,528 tonnes to 1,146 tonnes – a saving of more than £68,569. If you can suggest ways to help reduce our carbon footprint, we want to hear from you. Please talk to your departmental manager.