Scotland provides another boost to efficiency with £9.1m fund

Local authorities in Scotland are set to receive £9.1m in funding from the Scottish government in an effort to further promote energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority.

Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) Pathfinder Fund will be split between businesses, community groups and individuals across 11 local authorities, with the fund being directed at businesses, community groups and individuals working and living in areas with particularly high levels of fuel poverty.

A total of £14m will be available for SEEP projects, according to Holyrood, with the £9.1m allocated to successful applicants and the remaining funding set to be given to other energy efficiency projects across Scotland, while SEEP is expected to be rolled out further from 2018.

Paul Wheelhouse, minister for business, innovation and energy, emphasises that Scotland is not only boosting the economy but enabling itself to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking a coordinated approach to improving buildings across the commercial, public and industrial sectors.

“This is part of our overall investment of over £1 billion by 2021 in energy efficiency which aims to make homes and buildings warmer, improve health outcomes and create a supply chain across all of Scotland which will support around 4,000 jobs a year once the programme is fully operational,” he said.

The fund, part of the Scottish Government’s plan to invest over £1bn in energy efficiency by 2021, will be used to pay for a wide range of measures across private and council-owned commercial buildings, including energy saving measures in social housing; various insulation solutions in commercial buildings across the country and energy management system improvements.

A number of LED lighting upgrades in three NHS buildings in South Lanarkshire and a trial of solar PV as a supplement to district heating at a care home in Shetland will also be paid for through the investment.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance, believes the SEEP pilot projects will build on the country’s existing support for households and also improve the energy efficiency of community centres, charities, businesses and commercial properties.

“Tackling fuel poverty is a priority for us, but we need to be creative if we want to make a real lasting difference. I look forward to seeing how councils can bring their innovative ideas to life to reduce energy bills and tackle fuel poverty in their communities,” she said.

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