Salix Finance funds Edinburgh energy efficiency upgrades



The City of Edinburgh Council is on track to save tens of thousands of pounds a year and significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions thanks to energy efficiency upgrades funded in part by Salix Finance.

The council has invested £1.6 million of Salix funding (£800,000 investment provided by the council and £800,000 match funding provided by Salix Finance) in energy efficiency projects across several schools in the city to create a more comfortable working and learning environment for pupils and staff. This was carried out using the London RE:FIT framework.

The schools have benefitted from upgrades to technologies including combined heat and power (CHP), LED lighting, boilers, and controls. In total, the new technologies will save the council up to £4million on energy bills across the lifetime of the project.

The upgrades were made possible thanks to funding from Salix Finance, an independent, government-funded organisation that provides interest-free loans to the public sector for energy efficiency projects. The council utilised Salix’s Recycling Fund (RF) - a ring-fenced pot of money held by the local authority, which is created with capital provided by Scottish Government through Salix, and equally matched by the local authority.

The fund aims to increase long-term investment in energy-efficient technologies across the public sector by enabling clients to reinvest savings from previous projects to finance further energy reduction schemes.

As well as improvements across schools, the council also used its recycling fund to upgrade Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) and completed projects such as LED lighting upgrades to both the Edinburgh bus station and Councils Assembly Rooms, as well as CCTV monitor upgrades to the City Chambers.

Councillor Adam McVey, council leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The works we have invested in have brought huge benefits, both financially and environmentally to our city. The ability to use Salix funding to support energy efficiency works is essential to enable the change. This is also helping us make progress towards our ambitious sustainability approach and our bold target for Edinburgh to become carbon neutral by 2030.”

Edinburgh is not the only local authority championing energy efficiency in the region. Midlothian Council is also set to make huge financial savings and significantly reduce its environmental impact after investing in a £1.4m energy reduction project which was carried out under the Scottish Government’s Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency (NDEE) Framework2 and part-funded by Salix.

Spanning an impressive 12 sites, including 10 schools and two leisure centres, the project will see each of the buildings benefit from a variety of technologies, including new LED lighting and controls, combined heat and power plants, solar PV and pool upgrades. The upgrades will make estimated annual savings of £155,673 and 473 tonnes of CO2e.

Due to complete in 2019, the major project will result in the delivery of reliable, innovative and creative energy conservation measures, helping to enhance the existing council infrastructure.

Gordon Pollock, project director at Midlothian Council, said: “This project, focusing on a whole building approach, will bring substantial carbon savings with payback on financial investment over the lifetime of the properties. The technology upgrades to our properties will also contribute greatly towards new national targets for a net Zero Carbon Future.”

Jennifer Roberts, programme manager for the Scotland programme at Salix Finance, added: “We are committed to reducing energy consumption across the Scottish public sector and work with a number of clients across the country to achieve these goals.

“To date, Salix Finance has supported the Scottish public sector to invest over £63m in energy efficiency projects and they are forecasted to have saved the public sector more than £10million a year. These projects are not only contributing towards the Scottish Government’s carbon reduction targets but are also going a long way towards improving and modernising important facilities for the public.”

Salix, in partnership with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), has recently launched a new programme which aims to boost investment in energy efficiency across Scotland’s higher education institutions, providing accessible support and finance for carbon reduction throughout the sector and building capacity for funding in additional years. Institutions are invited to submit expressions of interest to Salix.



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