New prisons being built in the UK will be equally effective at cutting carbon emissions and crime, Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland announced on 14th May.
With the UK Government working towards net-zero by 2050, the four new prisons currently being built in England will see heat pumps, efficient lighting systems and thousands of solar panels which will reduce energy demand by half, as well as cutting carbon emissions by at least 85% compared to prisons currently under construction.
The plan is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 280,000 tonnes, cut £100 million in energy costs over the next 60 years. Future prison expansion will also be built to similar standards.
The new designs will learn from the construction of HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, and the new jail in Glen Parva, Leicestershire, which are being constructed more sustainably than existing prisons using recycled materials and incorporating green energy.
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said: “Our ambitious approach offers a unique opportunity to build back a safer and greener prison system. New jails will use new green technologies and modern methods of construction to ensure our prisons cut carbon emissions as well as reoffending.”
The four new prisons will use an all-electric design that eliminates the need for gas boilers, meaning they will produce net-zero emissions when the National Grid decarbonises. During construction, 40,000 tonnes of carbon will be prevented by using recycled concrete and steel.
Existing prisons will also benefit from a £15 million investment to help cut emissions. Solar panels are to be installed at a further 16 sites to meet 20% of their power demand, bringing the total number of solar panels across the estate to over 20,000. Over 200 electric vehicle charging points are also being installed at 40 prisons.
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