London Fire Brigade

Being green gets you in the black

03 June 2010

New figures announced on the eve of World Environment Day (5 June), show that London Fire Brigade’s green projects are not only protecting the environment but are also saving London’s taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.

With pressure growing to save both money and carbon emissions, projects put in place by the Brigade have led to savings of £260,000 this year alone – equivalent to the cost of 41,000 smoke alarms - and over £1 million since the Brigade started focussing on the need to be greener.

The Brigade is also revealing that through renewable energy and low carbon technologies it is producing nearly 5 per cent of all the energy it consumes. Despite the organisation growing, with more firefighters, emergency vehicles and fire stations, to keep up with London’s growth, overall carbon emissions are down by nearly 17 per cent on 1990s levels.

Green technology in fire stations includes:

*              Photo-voltaic/solar panels, converting solar energy into electricity and hot water

*              Grey water technology, recycling rain water

*              Motion sensor lighting, so lights are not left switched on in an empty room

*              Thermostatic radiator valves, controlling the temperature of each radiator

*              Wind turbines, generating energy for the fire station

The Brigade even works with a company which has prevented tonnes of old hoses being sent to landfill by turning them into handbags, belts and wallets. 

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Everyone is a winner because of this work, as we do our bit for the environment and our bank balance. The money we save is re-invested in more green technology which will lead to an even lower carbon footprint and further savings.”

Notes for editors

*              In 2009 the LFB entered into a performance guarantee contract to reduce the energy consumption at 10 stations. Ilford fire station is expected to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 40 per cent with payback achieved in 10 years. 

*              The next major projects are the rebuilding of ten fire stations, nine of those from 2012 as part of a major PFI initiative. All of these buildings will contain the latest green technology and be assessed for their sustainable design. We want our buildings to achieve a BRE Environmental Assessment Method ‘excellent’ rating, which shows that we have taken significant steps to limit the building’s carbon footprint.