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SECTOR GROUP: buildings



Carbon emissions from energy use in residential and commercial buildings in Cumbria are estimated to be around 1.5 MtCO2 equivalent, these emissions need to be reduced by more than 95% by 2037.

Under-pinned by data from Cumbria’s Carbon Baseline Report, the Buildings sector group has been formed  to create and steer Emissions Reduction Action Plans, in order to achieve Cumbria’s ambition of becoming carbon net-zero by 2037. 


Cumbria faces some specific challenges. Such as old buildings that aren’t energy efficient and many rural properties that are off-grid and rely on fossil fuels like heating oil to keep warm.

To cut emissions from existing properties we need to make big improvements in how efficiently they use energy. We will also need to adopt new ways of heating and cooling our homes and work spaces.

These changes will need to include using more low-carbon technologies. From smart, energy efficient appliances to generating renewable energy to power our homes and communities.

As the projected number of new properties in Cumbria continues to rise, it’s vital that they are designed for the future, to be energy efficient and using renewable energy.

Although the huge challenges of improving the environmental performance of our buildings in Cumbria may seem daunting, acting now can have multiple benefits.

By establishing robust supply chains that can retrofit and build the high-performance buildings we need, quickly and on a large scale, the county stands to benefit from a positive economic opportunity.

Making these improvements can also help address fuel poverty, lower business running costs, and promote better health and well-being.


Sector group progress update

March 2024

New: Read the sector group's plans

After a great deal of work over the past few months, the sector group’s plans are now published, representing a significant milestone in our journey towards a net zero Cumbria.  The plans are presented in two documents;  an Emissions Reduction Pathway (ERP) and Emissions Reduction Action Plan (ERAP).

  • The Emissions Reduction Pathway sets out the strategic direction to reduce carbon emissions. It includes a carbon baseline, a vision and objectives for a net zero Cumbria, priority areas for reducing emissions and how we should tackle decarbonisation.

  • The Emissions Reduction Action Plan sets out detailed proposed actions for emissions reduction in each sector.  Actions are built around priority areas for decarbonisation, identifying potential targets and key stakeholders for delivery.

  • Your feedback is an important part of the process, so click the button and find out more about Cumbria’s steps to a more sustainable future.

    Sector group update

    Sector group progress update

    What emissions are in scope?


    This area of scope includes all energy related household emissions from new and existing houses. These could be from heating, property maintenance and appliances to utilities like the water supply. Emissions from the construction and demolition processes are within this area along with emissions from retrofitting properties.

    Public and commercial buildings

    This area of scope includes emissions from all public and commercial buildings. From heating, appliances, maintenance and utilities to construction, demolition and retrofitting older properties.

    The process



    1. Construction

    All emissions related to the construction of new builds.



    All emissions that come from using a building. Services and maintenance  e.g heating, appliances, lighting, water, repairs


    Deconstruction and re-use

    All emissions that come from the deconstruction process. Determining what could be put back into the cycle and avert landfill. 

    Proposed net zero pathways

    2 lines for bullets

    Working towards net zero: buildings news from around Cumbria

    Emissions sector group meeting

    First sector group meeting bodes well for future progress

    Four emissions sector groups consisting of 45 members in total from diverse Cumbrian organisations and businesses, met in-person on the 18th April to focus on the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Cumbria. Informed by data on Cumbria’s controllable greenhouse gas emissions, the sector groups will address emissions from

    Read More »

    Youth Climate Summit 2023

    Last year’s Youth Climate Summit was held in Kendal in July, the young people who attended were all asked for barriers and solutions in each of the sector group areas. Watch the short video for their thoughts about buildings. 

    How could we reach net zero?

    To tackle Cumbria’s ambitious target of reaching net-zero by 2037, the buildings sector group plays an integral role.

    To help achieve this, some suggested Priority Emission Reduction Actions (PERAs) have been identified, based on extensive research across a broad evidence base ranging from IPCC and UK Government reports to emissions data from Cumbria’s carbon baseline report.

    These PERAs offer a key starting point from which the Buildings sector group can develop detailed Emissions Reduction Action Plans leading to rapid countywide action.

     The suggested PERA’s  for the buildings sector group are focussed on the following areas:

    Are we on track?

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    Get involved

    Our next meeting


    Group lead: Jane Meek,Carlisle City Council

    Carlisle City Council

    Story Homes

    Community Housing Project

    Barrow Borough Council

    Allerdale Borough Council

    South Lakeland District Council

    Cumbria County Council

    Carlisle City Council

    Eden District Council

    Copeland District Council

    Eden Housing Association

    Lune Valley Community Land Trust

    Sustainable Staveley/Cumbria ACT

    Copeland Brough Council

    Net Zero Solutions

    Cumbria Home Group

    View our other sector groups

    Join us

    Contact the partnership manager to find out how you could take part