A new software tool to help local authorities determine the best mix of measures to meet their carbon reduction targets has been launched by the environmental trust Carbon Descent.

Called VantagePoint, the software will allow local and regional authorities to compare different combinations of fuel use, electricity, heat produced, carbon saved nitrogen oxide emissions and net present value to establish a carbon reduction strategy.

The tool allows the user to:

  • Set baseline emissions levels for the Local Authority against which targets can be measured, using a built in database if required
  • Define carbon reduction targets for a given year
  • Set interim reduction targets for any number of key years on a linear or non-linear basis
  • Adjust the targets to allow alterations in population growth, rates of demolition, new build and changes in transport emissions
  • Analyse a mix of technologies and measures applied to transport, domestic and non-domestic buildings to achieve the targets
  • Group these mixes into reduction scenarios and compare against number of factors such as total gas and biomass consumption

The software was commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust. It was developed from a bespoke version used by Coventry City Council and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. It has been trailed in 10 different local authorities.

Julia Clarke, programme manager at the Energy Saving Trust said: “This carbon reduction planning tool provides the evidence base from which local authorities can develop their climate change strategy with confidence. It allows them to determine in-house, the best mix of measures to deliver the carbon reductions that are needed to tie in with the climate change bill’s national target of an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide by 2050”.