A consortium of museums and academic bodies in South Kensington, London, has been granted nearly £3m in the Budget to reduce carbon emissions in their area.

The team, led by the Natural History Museum, has set itself a target of reducing carbon emissions by up to 10% in the next three years within the South Kensington Cultural and Academic Estate. The 35 ha area covers the Natural History Museum, Imperial College, the Science Museum, the V&A and the Royal Albert Hall.

Simon Tilleard, head of engineering at the Natural History Museum, said each business unit within the area would have a meter installed to monitor the amount of energy consumed. He said: "We will use the data from these meters to develop a more integrated strategy for the whole area. We want to put in district systems for the area such as aqua-thermal storage systems, which can make a 50% saving."

The consortium, working with consulting engineers Fulcrum, is aiming towards carbon neutrality. Part of the plan is to develop a 15-year strategy and to find commercial partners to invest in projects. The strategy will include installing a combined heat and power plant and possibly investing in a power station.

The group has to report costs back to the Treasury throughout the project, such as how much the metering costs to install. This will be used to build up a best practice model and could be rolled out to other areas.

The grant of £2.85m was allocated through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.