The government has announced plans for four new prisons to use heat pumps, efficient lighting systems and solar panels to reduce energy demand by half and cut carbon emissions by at least 85% compared to prisons already under construction.
As well as reducing emissions, the measures are expected to reduce energy costs by £100 million over the next 60 years. The Ministry of Justice said it was seeking to achieve the gold-standard ‘outstanding’ rating in Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method for its four new prisons. Future prison expansions will also be built to similar standards.
The four new prisons’ all-electric design will eliminate the need for gas boilers, so they will be net-zero emissions when the National Grid decarbonises. They will use recycled concrete and steel to reduce embodied emissions. The first is HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire. Work is underway to find another location in the northwest of England and two in the southeast.
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said existing prisons are also benefiting from a £15 million investment to cut their emissions. Solar panels are being 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.
More than 200 electric vehicle charging points are also being installed across 40 prisons.MoJ said two new facilities already under construction, at Five Wells in Wellingborough and Glen Parva, Leicestershire, were ‘more sustainable’ than existing prisons using recycled materials and incorporating green energy.