City of Edinburgh Council leaders have welcomed the announcement of up to £10 million of Scottish Government investment for Edinburgh to make council buildings greener.
The funding, which forms part of the government’s Green Growth Accelerator programme, will see work start on energy efficiency improvements in up to 12 council buildings – supporting Edinburgh’s ambitious drive towards net zero emissions by 2030.
The buildings will be retrofitted to be more energy efficient and to facilitate the deployment of low/zero carbon heating primary plant. The improvements will lower the total amount of energy used in the buildings and minimise their carbon emissions.
The initial £1 million investment in the city, part of a suite of government funding across Scotland, follows on from the council investing £500,000 in one-off, additional funding in May to improve council estate carbon performance by identifying shovel-ready projects.
The government funding will be used to unlock local low-carbon capital investment in Edinburgh and encourage the creation of new local jobs and skills.
Council leader Adam McVey said: “We very much welcome the announcement today of support from the Scottish Government to help bring Edinburgh’s public buildings up to high energy-efficiency standards.
“The age, range, and complexity of the council’s operational estate means the costs of retrofitting large operational buildings to become net zero is significant.
“This is more than just an investment in the council’s buildings. It’s an investment in the local supply chain, developing green construction skills and creating jobs.
“This has been made possible thanks to £500,000 of additional funding we agreed in May to improve the council estate. It’s a fantastic example of how investing in climate action can bring benefits to the whole city and support a just transition to net zero. “
Deputy council leader Cammy Day added: “The council alone owns more than 600 buildings across Edinburgh, of which around 40 per cent were built within the last 50 years. A further 30 per cent are more than 100 years old. This presents significant challenges when looking to make them more energy-efficient and reduce their impact on the environment.
“Retrofitting buildings across the city, whether private homes or public and commercial office spaces, has the potential to deliver significant savings in the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and help Edinburgh meet its target of net zero by 2030.
“This investment will provide a huge opportunity to invest in net zero action and ensure that our young people inherit a thriving, sustainable city which is a cleaner and healthier place to live and work.”
The Green Growth Accelerator is a payment-by-results mechanism, whereby the Scottish Government and local authorities pre-agree a series of outcomes which, if met, release government funding to underpin the investment made by the local authority or partners to deliver the project.
The Scottish Government will provide up to £1 million to support the pathfinders through the development phase, which together will unlock £40 million in local government investment in green infrastructure, backed by long term Scottish Government funding commitments. Future funding commitments will be based on the achievement of project outcomes including carbon emissions reductions and green economy opportunities.