Portsmouth City Council's Energy Services team won the "Regional Council of the Year" award at the South East Energy Efficiency Awards last week. The in-house team was also highly commended in the "Vulnerable Customer Support Campaigner of the Year" category. These new awards come fresh from success at the National Energy Efficiency awards in November, where the team won the National Social Responsibility Organisation of the Year award.
The Council of the Year award is presented to one lead local authority judged to have undertaken outstanding energy efficiency, generation and social good projects for the local community.
The projects considered by the judges of particular note were the Council's continued roll-out of solar panels to its buildings. Over 3,500 additional solar panels were added to Council properties over the past year. This means that Portsmouth City Council now has 6 megawatts of clean solar generation; creating enough clean energy each year to power 1,500 typical homes for a year and offsetting nearly 1,600 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.
The team's work with other clients to support their roll-out of solar was also recognised. In West Sussex, the energy services team project managed installations of solar to 35 schools; as well as working with other clients on a range of energy services.
The award also recognises the work that the energy services team does to tackle fuel poverty in the city; providing assistance and affordable warmth to some of Portsmouth's most vulnerable households. Over the past 12 months, the team has increased the number of households being seen by nearly 300%, has attracted additional external funding and has launched Switched On Portsmouth.
Switched On Portsmouth (www.switchonportsmouth.co.uk) houses all of the Council's energy offers to Portsmouth homes under a single roof. Allowing people to more easily access the help and support that they need. The development of the website and Switched On has been carried out alongside the publication of the Council's Home Energy and Water Strategy which aims to further strengthen the offers available for people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
Cllr Darren Sanders, the council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
"Once again our expert in-house energy services team has been recognised as the leading organisation in the South East when it comes to energy."
"Following a number of awards in recent years, the city and its residents should take pride in the fact that they have an industry-leading service that provides expert energy efficiency projects as well as a number of brilliant energy and money saving initiatives".
"From tackling fuel poverty to installing more than 20,000 solar panels in 2019, the broad remit of our expert energy services team benefits residents and our environment alike."
It is the second year in a row that the Council's in-house team has won the award.