Net Zero Leiston

Net Zero Leiston is an ambitious project aiming to end fuel poverty and reach Net Zero carbon emissions in the Suffolk coastal town of Leiston.

The project is led by Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council and the Leiston Together Board with financial and project management support from EDF. Atkins, Opergy and Energy Systems Catapult – plus Suffolk County and East Suffolk Councils – are supporting the project.

Energy Systems Catapult is providing modelling and consumer insight expertise, working with Leiston residents to understand the causes of fuel poverty and the most impactful ways to decarbonise.

The Challenge

Suffolk County Council, along with over 300 local authorities around the UK, has declared a climate emergency, in addition to the UK agreeing a legally binding commitment to achieve ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2050.

Net Zero Leiston is even more ambitious and aims to help the parish achieve zero carbon emissions by around 2030 and end fuel poverty. The challenge is to answer some difficult questions:

  • How can the change be manageable and affordable?
  • How can homes be made warmer, more energy efficient and cheaper to fuel?
  • What about our schools and public buildings?

During the Autumn, the project team aim to have a ‘route map’ outlining the timescales and milestones that would be needed to meet this ambitious challenge.

The Project

Net Zero Leiston project team comprises Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council, coastal community team Leiston Together, leading engineers Atkins, modelling and consumer insight from Energy Systems Catapult, Suffolk-based energy consultancy Opergy, low carbon strategy consultancy Carbone4 and EDF. However it is intended that the project will eventually be wholly community‐owned and self‐sustaining.

The project will initially develop a pilot scheme for twenty properties in the town to be retro‐fitted with various technologies and materials to help improve their energy performance, such as roof and
cavity wall insulation, efficient heating systems and solar panels.

The Net Zero Leiston project aims to:

  • Provide a showcase for other rural towns to reach Net Zero
  • Provide a thorough, engineered route‐map to Net Zero
  • Help to put Leiston ‘on the map’, reinvigorating its identity as a leading town in the new green industrial revolution
  • Understand what works, what is affordable and what can help to improve people’s lives
  • We plan to address all aspects of emissions and aim to take coordinated, practical action with the community
  • Leiston is a rural town with limited public transport or employment opportunities, largely EPC‐rated D & E properties requiring a deep retro‐fit
  • This is a collaboration between Leiston Together, local councils, the local community, EDF and other private sector partners.