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Saving energy for Edinburgh: building upgrades reduce energy costs by 24%

Posted: 2nd November 2016

In a first for a local authority in Scotland, nine public buildings in Edinburgh – including seven schools, the Usher Hall and the City Chambers – are to undergo energy efficiency upgrades as part of an energy performance contract between E.ON’s energy efficiency specialists Matrix and the City Council.


The £2.1 million improvement scheme could result in energy costs at those sites being cut by almost a quarter and will be carried out under an agreement that means E.ON will guarantee the energy savings from the implementation of a number of energy conservation measures. The project is a key initiative as part of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan that aims to reduce carbon emissions across the city by over 40% by 2020. It is being funded mainly through the Salix scheme which provides interest free loans to public sector bodies to finance energy efficiency projects. As part of the project, awarded under the Greater London Authority’s RE:FIT framework, the planned measures are guaranteed to pay for themselves in eight years.


The upgrade programme is designed to reduce energy consumption across the nine Council buildings – saving over £330,000 in energy costs and reducing carbon emissions by more than 1,500 tonnes per year.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Convenor of Transport and Environment Committee, said: “Energy efficiency is a key programme within our Sustainable Energy Action Plan that aims to reduce carbon emissions across the city.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with E.ON in the development of projects that will result in more energy efficient buildings delivering a number of benefits to the Council and its staff.  This will be part of an ongoing programme of work initially supported by the Scottish Government and we will look forward to taking future phases of energy retrofits through the Scottish Government’s new framework.”

Dave Lewis, Managing Director of Matrix, E.ON’s energy efficiency business, added: “Edinburgh is looking to significantly reduce its carbon emissions and energy costs by 2020. The scope, scale and complexity of solutions we can offer customers will certainly help them on that journey, saving them on their energy and maintenance costs which can then be reinvested for the benefit of local residents. Our mission is to provide public sector and business customers with a wide range of innovative solutions that deliver real long term financial benefits.

“Being chosen as Edinburgh’s preferred partner is a sign of their confidence in our ability to develop the best solutions for them. We are already in discussions with the council about phase two of this project which we hope will see further significant carbon and financial savings achieved.”

Consultants Turner & Townsend oversaw the rollout of the Edinburgh RE:FIT programme, helping CEC to understand how it can be applied to their building stock and assisting in the preparation of tenders and the procurement of suppliers to deliver the energy savings. It will also report on the overall carbon reduction achieved and evaluate the performance of participating organisations.

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