Develop a data-led organisational strategy to decarbonise your public sector buildings and sites

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Strategic Definition, Planning & Briefing

Our guidance, tools and templates will help you set up your organisation to tackle carbon emissions reduction and complements the Net Zero Estate Playbook – developed by the Office of Government Property with support from Energy Systems Catapult.

It includes guidance on timelines, energy data, greenhouse gas reporting as well as developing your stakeholder engagement and communication plans. Tools are available to help you estimate your energy usage into the future and provide a quick assessment of the benefits of implementing certain decarbonisation interventions.

Who should use this guidance?

This Public Sector Decarbonisation Guidance was commissioned by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), formerly the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the UK Government Property Function to help public sector bodies and their decarbonisation partners understand the best route to achieving Net Zero. We aim to help deliver decarbonisation projects at scale, as well as support grant funding applications, to enable rapid progress on reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.

This Guidance takes learnings from the Modern Energy Partners (MEP) programme and expertise from across Energy Systems Catapult to provide guidance on heat decarbonisation and energy management.

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VIDEO: Developing your Strategy for Public Sector Decarbonisation

Main Guide - Developing and delivering your decarbonisation strategy

This guide supports public sector organisations to develop their decarbonisation strategy and programme with the aim of reducing energy demand and eliminating fossil fuels across your estate.

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Developing your Strategy: Extra Guides

Discover nine available guides


  • What could decarbonisation look like for you?
  • Understanding your energy data
  • Stakeholder engagement and communications guide
  • Skills and capabilities guide
  • Understanding your timelines guide
  • Guidance for the estimator tools
  • Supporting local authority senior leaders to tackle the climate emergency
  • Greenhouse gas reporting guide
  • Glossary of terms

What could decarbonisation look like for you?

This guide provides insight into what an overall decarbonisation solution could look like – including various examples of technology and how they can work together.


Understanding your energy data

This short guide helps you to understand your energy data better and how it can inform your strategy and programme development.


Stakeholder engagement and communications guide

This guide helps you think about your stakeholder engagement and communications plans and how these are critical to the success of your programme.


Skills and capabilities guide

This guide covers the skills and capabilities, including referral links to other Public Sector Decarbonisation Guidance, that might be required for each of the activities you and your team need to undertake to deliver a decarbonisation programme.


Understanding your timelines guide

It can typically take over two years to complete the delivery of decarbonisation projects. This guidance helps you consider what needs to be included in your plan, considering both the strategic high level and the low level project activity required to decarbonise.


Guidance for the estimator tools

This document is your supporting user guide for the three estimators available to help you develop your decarbonisation strategy. The estimators are the ‘high-level decarbonisation intervention estimator’, the ‘business as usual estimator’ and the ‘decarbonisation intervention estimator’.


Supporting local authority senior leaders to tackle the climate emergency

This publication is designed to inform and inspire local authority senior leadership to close the gap between climate ambition and action. It includes the actions senior leaders should take, and signposts the available support.


Greenhouse gas reporting guide

This guide covers the basics for greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reporting. It details the different routes you might use voluntarily, and the associated benefits, as well as mandatory disclosures for public sector organisations.


Glossary of terms

This glossary contains explanations of the terminology and organisations commonly used or referred to across the Public Sector Decarbonisation Guidance.

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Developing your Decarbonisation Strategy: Tools & Tutorials

Discover six available tools and accompanying tutorials


  • Decarbonisation strategy documentation checklist
  • Understanding your timelines – template
  • Business as usual estimator
  • Decarbonisation intervention estimator
  • High-level decarbonisation intervention estimator
  • Net Zero organisational assessment



Decarbonisation strategy documentation checklist

A downloadable blank template that gives you all the checkpoints needed for a high quality decarbonisation strategy


Understanding your timelines - template

A downloadable template that helps you work out your timelines for your decarbonisation programme.


Business as usual estimator

This estimator allows input of building, site or portfolio level energy consumption data. This will provide a baseline of energy use over time from which decarbonisation interventions can be assessed. It also allows for known future changes to the site to be captured and incorporated into the future assessments. This estimator tool comes with a user guide providing instructions for use.

Click here for a video tutorial on how to use this tool.


Decarbonisation intervention estimator

This estimator provides a range of key decarbonisation options, including heat, renewables and energy efficiency, which can be applied to your building, site or portfolio. This allows for quick assessment of potential benefits of implementing these interventions. This estimator uses the baseline data from the ‘business as usual’ estimator. This estimator tool comes with a user guide providing instructions for use.

Click here for a video tutorial on how to use this tool.


High-level decarbonisation intervention estimator

The high-level decarbonisation intervention estimator will provide a snapshot view of the potential benefits when considering a range of decarbonisation projects at a building or site level. This will be based on a single year’s consumption on site and will not offer a future view, however it can be used as a first step in identifying potential solutions for your building, site or portfolio. This estimator tool comes with a user guide providing instructions for use.

Click here for a video tutorial on how to use this tool.


Net Zero organisational assessment

This assessment tool identifies areas for improvement within your organisation’s operational model to unlock and support scaled delivery of decarbonisation.

Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener

This strategy sets out policies and proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet our Net Zero target by 2050.

Read more

Next Theme: Design and Feasibility

Develop detailed feasibility studies for one, or a suite of, investible decarbonisation measures

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Public Sector Decarbonisation Guidance

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