Delivering an Energy Saving Action Plan: Cherwell District Council


Cherwell District Council (CDC) is a local government authority who are responsible for the towns of Bicester, Banbury, the village of Kidlington and other surrounding areas. CDC declared a climate emergency in 2019 and pledged their commitments to net zero by 2030.

LCMB were appointed to conduct a full energy review of nine of its buildings which range from a museum and sports grounds to several large multipurpose leisure centres. This review identified a series of key energy saving projects that would be used develop a proposal for the Salix, Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Launched by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is a £1bn fund designed to encourage green growth across the public sector and affiliated bodies. Applications for Salix Finance are reviewed, and successful projects are awarded funding. The overriding project concept is focused on carbon reduction as the primary driver.

Salix grant funding is challenging to secure as there is plentiful competition from a vast range of public sector organisations. The energy audit and application completed by LCMB successfully secured CDC over £6 million in funding, providing the opportunity to oversee a range of exciting energy projects and see a significant decrease in carbon emissions.


Cherwell District Council have a target of achieving net zero carbon by 2030 – in order to achieve this goal, a series of energy projects need to be implemented across all sites. There was a tight deadline for the Salix application, the process is fairly extensive and requires accurate calculations to justify both cost and carbon savings


LCMB visited each site and conducted a full energy review of all nine premises in order to identify areas where energy and cost savings could be made.

Some examples of key projects included:

  • Installation of air source heat pumps.
  • Heat recovery systems.
  • LED lighting upgrades.
  • Air Handling Unit (AHU) upgrades.
  • Building fabric installation upgrades.
  • Hand dryer upgrades.
  • PV arrays and battery storage.

LCMB built a strong energy performance case on behalf of CDC and successfully identified a list of technologies appropriate for their nine individual facilities.


  • Over £6 million in Salix Grant funding was awarded to CDC as part of phase one PSDS Phase 1.
  • Over £300,000 in annual cost savings for the council through better energy saving measures.
  • An annual carbon saving of 1,519 CO2e

Challenges and Achievements

There are various challenges when assessing opportunities for large scale energy saving projects.

  • Every project requires great attention to deal, all possible failures need to be clearly identified and considered.
  • A strong case for each project needs to be built to exemplify accurate CO2 savings in order to qualify for grant funding.
  • Not all technologies are Salix approved and therefore careful consideration needs to be made when identifying appropriate technologies.
  • Each building has individual requirements varying in age and size, it was key to establish tailored solutions, specific to environment and use.
  • Leisure centres facilities often have different heating and ventilation requirements for each individual space.

Mike Kenny, LCMB’s energy expert has plentiful experience working with organisations to identify and achieve carbon related goals, as a result the Salix bid was a resounding success for CDC. Contact Mike by email [email protected] if you need advise.


“The professionalism and expertise shown throughout the project was second to none.”

Sam Thomas, Climate Action Officer

Find out more

LCMB improves the financial and environmental sustainability of buildings and estates, and the productivity and well-being of the people using them. We do this by reducing building operating costs, energy used and improving building space and its’ utilisation. We offer Workplace Performance, Facilities Management, Project Management and Resource optimisation support.

Amongst others our clients include King’s College London, Birmingham Airport, Tata Technologies, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bouygues Energies & Services.

Give us a call on:
01295 576 000

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