The Retrofit Programme Helping Cardiff Reduce Emissions
Plans have been agreed for an initial twenty-three Cardiff Council buildings to benefit from an energy-saving retrofit programme. How will this help Cardiff to reduce carbon emissions and save money?

Green, locally sourced electricity already provides the power for council buildings wherever possible. However, the 22 school buildings provisionally identified for the first round of the programme alongside Channel View Leisure Centre, still produce 1595.7 tonnes of CO2e annually, at a cost of more than £1.1 million for 7.7 million kWh of energy.

The Re:Fit programme which is managed and run via Local Partnerships, a joint venture between the Local Government Association, HM Treasury and the Welsh Government, will guarantee a minimum of 15 per cent energy, carbon and cost savings.

The first delivery of retrofit measures will take place in 2024/25

It intends that the work will be financed by the Salix managed ‘Wales Funding Programme,’ which allows public sector bodies to apply for flexible interest-free loans for energy-saving projects.

Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, Cllr Russell Goodway, said: “The Re:Fit programme offers an opportunity for us to reduce costs, save energy and continue the good work that has contributed to a 12.3% reduction in carbon emissions from the Council’s estate since launching our One Planet Cardiff response to the climate emergency.”

The plans were approved at a Cabinet meeting and a Re:Fit service provider will now be appointed for four years, with the delivery of retrofit measures in the first group of buildings to take place in 2024/25. Subsequent groups will then follow over the next four years.

Local schools are benefiting from energy conservation measures 

Further buildings that would benefit from investment in retrofit measures will be identified for delivery during the remainder of the contract.

A previous version of the Re:Fit scheme has already seen 19 schools benefit from more than £3 million of investment in a range of energy conservation measures, including solar PV, building management systems, direct hot water passive infrared sensors (PIRS), fridge freezer motor controls, LED lighting upgrades, valve jackets and tea boiler PIRS.

This investment has resulted in:

  • Energy savings of c.3.87 million kWh per year.
  • Carbon savings of c.1,123 tonnes/CO2e per year.
  • Cost savings of c. £328,000 per year.

Retrofitting projects like this one are key to supporting councils in not only helping to reduce emissions but also reducing costs for their local community and raising awareness of sustainability through investment in local schools.