A NUMBER of improvements will be made to buildings in Somerset to improve their efficiency.

A £4.1m funding bid was approved earlier this year so Somerset County Council (SCC) could work on decarbonisation projects across the district to help save tonnes of carbon each year.

There will be projects in a number of council-owned buildings including Taunton Library, Yeovil Library, Frome Library, Glastonbury Hub, Milford Infants School, Chilthorne Domer School, and County Hall in Taunton.

The buildings will be improved by installing heat pumps to either replace or supplement existing gas heating systems, replacing windows with double glazing, upgrading building insulation, improving building ventilation systems and installing solar panels.

Now, SCC has approved further funding so the Taunton projects - at Taunton Library and County Hall - can go ahead.

Cllr David Hall, SCC’s cabinet member for economic development & community infrastructure, said: “We are determined that Somerset, its people and businesses, will continue to thrive and prosper as we adapt to and mitigate against the effects of Climate Change.

“These improvements will significantly reduce the county council’s carbon footprint and will help contribute to our ambitious plans to reduce Somerset’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.”

In November 2020, all five councils in Somerset gave the green light to implement a plan for Somerset to go carbon neutral by 2030.

The Somerset-wide Climate Emergency Strategy considers how Climate Change will impact Somerset and describes what we need to do to cut our emissions and build resilience to the likely risks that may arise.

The Taunton projects will contribute directly to Goal One of the climate emergency strategy, which talks about the decarbonisation of local authorities.

Cllr Mandy Chilcott, cabinet member for resources, added: “This investment in our property estate will allow us to reduce our reliance on gas by moving to more efficient energy systems and reduce demand for energy with improved insulation.

"We’re not only doing our bit to save the planet, we’ll also save money on running costs for these public buildings for many years to come.”