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Edinburgh Eyes a Greener Future as New Sustainable Energy Company Takes Shape

Posted: 20th September 2016

A new energy services company (ESCo) for Edinburgh has moved closer to going live, boosting the Capital’s ambition to become a leading sustainable city.

Energy for Edinburgh, an arms-length City of Edinburgh Council organisation focusing exclusively on sustainable energy, will have a Board comprising eight directors.

Following a competitive interview process for board members, five external directors have been recommended for appointment in a report going before the Council on Thursday 22 September.

Setting up an ESCo is a key plank of the Council’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) 2015-2020, whose overarching target is to slash carbon emissions by 42% by 2020 (from 2005 levels) – the most ambitious target in the UK.

The SEAP is currently being delivered through five programme areas, namely: energy efficiency, district heating, renewables, resource efficiency and sustainable transport.

Energy for Edinburgh’s principal function will be to identify and deliver the SEAP projects across the five programmes.

It has four prinicpal objectives:

– reduce carbon emissions
– deliver affordable energy (with a particular focus on alleviating fuel poverty)
– generate income
– encourage wider community benefits

Energy for Edinburgh will be key to driving forward energy projects and in particular focusing on developing the scale of projects necessary to achieve considerable carbon reduction. The company will be able to initiate its own projects and deliver a wide range of benefits for the city of Edinburgh.

The proposed Energy for Edinburgh Board, if approved by councillors, would be:

Councillor Adam McVey (Interim Chair)
Councillor Lesley Hinds
Councillor Chas Booth
Toby Tucker (subject to employer approval)
Kathryn Dapré
Andrew Joss
Caroline Acton and
Teresa Bray

Cllr McVey, who chaired on the interview panel to select potential Board members, said: “These are really exciting times as we make the transition to a low-carbon Edinburgh and we were delighted with the breadth and calibre of applications to join our board.

“Energy for Edinburgh will be at the forefront of transforming how energy is used and generated in the Capital, working with a wide range of communities and groups right across the city. Our immediate focus will be to identify the initial low carbon energy projects that will reduce Edinburgh’s dependence on fossil fuels and support our citizens and businesses to reduce their energy costs.

“Achieving our ambitious emissions target will be no mean feat but I know I speak for all the potential board members when I say that we’re raring to get going!”

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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