Going for green: how electric vehicles will help HIWFRS save the planet
Electric vehicle charging points are to be installed at fire stations as part of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service’s (HIWFRS) drive to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Charging points will be installed at key sites - including their Eastleigh headquarters and strategic fire stations across both counties - by 2023.
The move will pave the way for fleet of non-operational light vehicles to be electrified, improving air quality across communities and reducing carbon emissions.
The scheme is part of a bold and ambitious plan announced by HIWFRS to meet the UK’s net zero target and build on carbon reduction work already carried out.
All 61 of the service's fire stations, plus our headquarters, will also be surveyed to identify environmentally friendly improvements that can be made, such as insulation and heating upgrades.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority (HIWFRA) approved the Carbon Reduction Pathway and the £1.1m needed to fund the package of work at its meeting on 27 July.
Chairman of HIWFRA, Councillor Rhydian Vaughan MBE, said:
“We all have a responsibility to play our part in reducing harmful carbon emissions.
“These plans will allow our Fire and Rescue Service to set the wheels in motion as it carries on the vital work needed to drive down its carbon footprint.”
The Carbon Reduction Pathway builds on the success of a series of previous carbon reduction initiatives, such as the 2012 Carbon Management Programme which achieved a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.
A study carried out by the Carbon Trust showed that 57 per cent of HIWFRS carbon emissions are from its estate, with most buildings now more than 50 years old.
The remaining 43 per cent of the service's carbon footprint is from the vehicle fleet, with the installation of electric vehicle charging points (ECVPs) providing an opportunity to begin the electrification of its non-operational light vehicles. The service already has four electric vehicles for staff use.
Money will also be invested in upgrades to the Fleet Maintenance Centre to ensure that the team have the skills and specialist tools needed to maintain an increasing electric fleet.
Planned new fire stations at Bishop’s Waltham, Cosham and Redbridge will be built using sustainable design principles and carbon neutral technologies.
Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin said:
“It is vital that we invest now in our carbon reduction strategy if we are to meet the government’s target of reaching net zero by 2050.
“This is an important first step and a really significant opportunity to make a difference that will benefit our colleagues and the communities we serve both now and in the future.”
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