Icy reaction to council's announcement of £630k Government grant for new heating system

Campus East

Campus East - Credit: Archant

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has been awarded £630,000 from the Government to upgrade the heating system at it's Campus East offices, which follows on from a £1.7m decarbonisation grant awarded in February.

The announcement from the council, about further reducing their carbon emissions, drew a negative reaction as many felt the money would be better spent elsewhere.

However the money, which is given by the Government not the council, is provided specifically for carbon reduction measures in public buildings.

Although some felt the post was insensitive, one person commented on WHBC's post: "Rub salt in the wound, how many council tenants are having to live with old and expensive to run heating systems and those that don't work at all?"

One man questioned: "What kind of heating system costs £630,000? What is made out of? Gold?"

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Another person asked: "Why? Most of your staff are working from home. Spend the money on your tenants who have poorly fitted windows and can’t afford to put the heating on."

Last month the council also announced that Campus West will replace it's gas-fired boilers with a combined ASHP (Air Source Heat Pump) and WSHP (Water Source Heat Pump) primary plant system and the replacement of gas-fired boilers with more energy efficient systems at Hatfield Swim Centre.

A spokesperson for the council said: “This fund was set-up by government specifically for carbon reduction measures in public buildings; using the money elsewhere is not an option.

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“We applied because our existing system needs replacing. The grant will pay for that replacement and reduce our energy bills, saving the local taxpayer and allowing us to invest more in the delivery of local services.

“We will cut carbon emissions by over 100 tonnes a year, significantly reducing our impact on the local environment. We have an important responsibility to do that and we take it very seriously.

“Helping our communities when their lives and livelihoods are more fragile than ever before remains our top priority. That is why we continue to invest many millions each year to support our borough to thrive.”

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