Luton Borough Council – PSDS Works

Carbon neutral Luton by 2040

About Luton

case studyA modern, cosmopolitan town – Luton is one the most vibrant, multicultural communities in the country.

With its people at the heart each Luton Council decision, they have pledged to be a carbon-neutral borough by 2040. That is 10 years ahead of the government’s own target.

To meet its ambitious target, Luton is making significant progress in reducing carbon emissions, energy use, investing in renewable technologies and promoting sustainable transport in the borough and beyond.

Council Challenges

Electricity and gas used in non-residential buildings are approximately 24% of emissions in Luton. Older buildings in general are very inefficient.

To improve this, Luton Council recognised its need to improve the energy efficiency of its corporate buildings.

Their initial key challenge was the lack of funding. Luton Council needed to qualify for grant funding to upgrade as many buildings as possible – without having to draw on funds from other areas.

CILS Project Objective

CILS’s objective was to secure the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) funding, to enable Luton Council to make its buildings more efficient and cost-effective.

The PSDS was launched by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in 2020.

Main Hall of Hockwell Community CentreLuton Borough Council – PSDS Works

For a successful application, we detailed how we’d improve their carbon footprint by over 1,200 tonnes of CO2 per year and realise significant energy savings.

We provided consultation and audited portfolio of buildings, including schools, community centres, leisure centres and other corporate facilities.

This formed the basis on which to tailor solutions for individual buildings, in line with the funding criteria.

It included installing sustainable technologies such as air source heat pumps and solar panels; LED lighting, along with smart building Internet of Things (IoT) controls.

£7.7 million funding secured

from PSDS grant for decarbonisation works

24 buildings transformed

including schools, community centres, libraries, offices


more efficient smart lighting solutions implemented

Sue Davies

CILS have been instrumental in securing the much-needed funding to deliver this important initiative for the council.

I have worked with CILS on a number of projects and am always impressed by their ability to produce high quality results on each and every project.

The team provides us with innovative solutions and it’s a pleasure to work with a company which is so committed to helping us solve complex problems.

– Sue Davies
Strategic Energy Manager
Luton Council


With the survey, solution, and consultation provided by CILS, Luton Council PSDS application was successful. Close to £8 million was awarded for the works.

Following the grant award, CILS won the contract to carry out the energy efficiency upgrade works at 24 Luton sites.

The approximate 90% reduction in lighting energy consumption has meant significant savings on energy and maintenance for local schools, community centres, and commercial and office buildings.

Thankfully, the impact of rapidly rising energy prices has been minimised, due to all the buildings that have been upgraded.


For years, CILS been working with Luton Council to help decarbonise the borough. We’ve built a strong relationship with the council and have transformed over 40 education, community and leisure buildings around Luton.

Decarbonisation and energy efficiency in buildings requires significant investment, so Luton Council approached CILS to help them secure funding from government grants, for their own decarbonisation initiative.

CILS Solutions Implemented

Working closely with Luton Council and SALIX, CILS carried out the energy efficiency upgrade works at 24 Luton sites.

What did we deliver?Luton Central Depot

  • A varied portfolio of 24 sites, upgraded with LED & Enlighted smart building infrastructure and advanced controls.
  • Enlighted smart building infrastructure is future-proof and gives the Council the opportunity to integrate other building elements, like heating, into the controls system.
  • 17 sites were upgraded with air source heat pumps (ASHP) to decarbonise heating.
  • 2 sites were installed with solar panels to make use of 100% renewable energy and help further reduce energy bills.
  • 6 sites were provided with Heating Decarbonisation Plans detailing ways to further improve buildings’ efficiency and maximise energy savings.
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