Scottish Councils to benefit from £4.4m funding into Energy Efficiency

Scottish Councils to benefit from £4.4m funding into Energy Efficiency

Excerpt: The new Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme of funding is enabling not just new efficiency and sustainability measures throughout the country, but also ground-breaking projects not seen before North of the border!

The Scottish government has granted local councils £4.4million of funding in a new drive to promote energy efficiency. Fifteen local authorities will benefit from Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP), that will deliver innovative solutions to reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty for homes, businesses, public buildings and community projects across the country.

The new programme will coordinate to improve energy efficiency across commercial, public and industrials sectors and funding will be granted in 2018. The fresh funding will coincide with fresh powers over the regulated energy supply sector for the Scottish Parliament.

SEEP will be implemented in two phases. The first has already has successful pilot projects underway spanning eleven local authorities, with £9.1m being awarded. These pilot projects will complete in December 2017, and then fresh pilots for the second project phase will take place, completing in February 2019.

Phase 2 sees some exciting innovations and progress to take place. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Aberdeen working as a lead partner alongside Stirling, Highland, Perth & Kinross, Edinburgh and Dundee to develop Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies
  • Argyll & Bute to introduce a district heating system with energy efficiency measures included
  • East Ayrshire to install renewable heat measures into a community hall and work with energy efficiency in off gas grid area, working alongside the property and land owner occupiers
  • Edinburgh to install retrofit energy efficiency improvements to the Edinburgh Bus Station and Museum of Edinburgh, as well as the installation of large scale ground source heat pumps to provide renewable heat to Saughton Park (a first for Scotland)
  • Falkirk to extend their district heating network to three tower blocks, and private wore network to seven tower blocks and a number of council properties
  • Orkney to install energy efficiency measures into schools
  • Shetland to develop a Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES)

Paul Wheelhouse, the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy spoke of the upcoming projects with excitement, saying to the press: “The SEEP Pilot programme is testing new approaches to improving energy efficiency and new ways of working in the public sector. A number of these projects will have a material impact on people’s lives, ensuring they have warm homes, businesses and community centres, while others will help develop essential strategies to support the effective deployment of investment to meet our ambitions to expand renewable heat and address fuel poverty.”
Similarly, Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said:

“Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme aims to both reduce the amount of heat which is lost from homes and businesses and to decarbonise the way that heat is supplied. Both those aims are important if we are to tackle climate change while helping the 31% of Scottish households in fuel poverty.”

The success of any such projects under the SEEP initiatives are likely to have knock-on impacts for not only future energy efficiency in Scotland, but elsewhere in the UK too, and could influence commercial epc all across the UK.