Yorkshire Water embraces renewable energy

Yorkshire Water embraces renewable energy

Yorkshire Water has switched to only using electricity from renewable sources and plans to make 20% of its vans electric by 2020.

As the firm aims to shrink its carbon footprint, all of the electricity it uses to power its operational sites is now generated from renewable sources, supplied by ENGIE.

The company has also purchased its first 10 electric vans and by 2020 at least 40 more will be bought to help reduce carbon emissions by 5%.

The move towards electric vehicles means the firm is the first in the water sector to be granted the ‘Go Ultra Low’ fleet accreditation, which is a government and industry campaign to promote the benefits of electric vehicles.

Andy Clark, head of procurement at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re really excited to be starting our journey towards a vehicle fleet entirely powered by renewable energy and are proud to achieve the prestigious ‘Go Ultra Low’ status.

“As a sustainability-focused business, we recognise the need to lower our carbon footprint and play our part in delivering clean air in our towns and cities across Yorkshire.”

The innovation funded project will help offset 140 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and generate cost savings of around £536,000 over the seven-year lifespan of the vehicles.

Robin Heap, head of electric vehicles infrastructure at ENGIE, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to support Yorkshire Water’s decarbonisation and air quality improvement targets.

ENGIE is already working in partnership with Yorkshire Water to deliver significant energy and cost reductions and this is another really positive step in achieving their sustainable energy strategy.

Currently, Yorkshire Water generates 12% of its own electricity from renewable sources such as anaerobic digestion.

The electric vehicles, which have a range of 70-100 miles before needing to be re-charged, will support Leeds City Council’s Clean Air Zone proposals as it aims to reduce air pollution in the city.

Yorkshire Water manages the collection, treatment and distribution of water in the region, supplying around 1.24 billion litres of drinking water to over 5 million people every day.