Fire and Rescue Services from across the country are set to take part in an energy saving competition to reduce energy consumption over a four-month period this winter.

The competition, involving Avon, Essex, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, London and Scotland, will see each try to reduce electricity and gas use.
Each Service will nominate a number of stations and encourage firefighters to make a positive step towards helping to tackle global warming.

A monthly leaderboard will show the energy savings achieved by participating stations compared to the previous year until the challenge ends in March, coinciding with WWF Earth Hour (24 March).

At the end of the competition, the overall winning energy-saving station will be announced and presented with a bespoke trophy.

Both WWF and Greenpeace are also supporting Green Action with certificates of achievement.
This is the second year the competition has run, with Eltham Fire Station (London Fire Brigade) taking home the trophy last year after reducing energy consumption by an impressive 35 per cent.

The highest ranking AF&RS station on the leaderboard was Blagdon, achieving a 25 per cent reduction.

Annabel Harford, Environmental Project Officer at AF&RS, said: “We are really looking forward to once again working with other Fire and Rescue Services and taking on the challenge of reducing our energy consumption and bills.

“We will be identifying further opportunities for energy saving on our stations, whilst making sure our stations are comfortable working environments.

“As a Fire Service, we have a social and legal obligation to be as efficient as possible and ensure that we are doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint.

“Global warming affects every fire service and is leading to increasing numbers of unusual events from snow to flash flooding to dry and hot summers.

“To be able to combat that and better utilise our resources will only help to improve response times and efficacies.”

The world’s leading climate scientists have recently warned that we only have 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

The energy consumed in homes and businesses is responsible for over a quarter of all UK emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing global warming.

The ten hottest years on record have all occurred in the last 20 years, since 1998, rainfall figures show 2014 was the wettest winter since records began in 1910 and in the North West coastlines have already risen by 15cm.

Scientific research predicts that burning all our currently known fossil fuels would cause temperatures to increase by three or four degrees.

More efficient energy use by Fire Services across the country can make a small but powerful difference in combatting global warming.

This will help protect the environment, reduce air pollution and enable services to spend more money on training and development.