E.ON teams up with Edinburgh City Council to reduce public building energy costs

A £2.1m partnership between E.ON's energy efficiency business and Edinburgh City Council is set to reduce on-site energy costs by 24% at nine public buildings, as part of the city's overarching aim to reduce carbon emissions by more than 40% by 2020.

The agreement means that E.ON’s energy efficiency business Matrix will guarantee savings from the implementation of energy conservation measures such as LED lighting and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems at buildings including seven schools, the Usher Hall and UNESCO World Heritage Site the City Chambers.

The upgrade programme is designed to save more than £330,000 in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,500 tonnes per year.

Matrix’s managing director Dace Lewis said: “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.”

Green buildings

Among the energy efficiency technologies, an upgraded Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) linked to the Council’s 24/7 BEMS control room in Glasgow will allow remote monitoring of HVAC systems.

Other measures include efficient lighting and equipment upgrades such as more efficient variable speed drives, while new CHP engines in four schools with swimming pools will enable the buildings to generate their own electrical and heating needs on-site.

The scheme 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.

Edinburgh Cllr, Transport and Environment Committee convener, Lesley Hinds said: “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.”

City slickers

The project is a key initiative of Edinburgh City Council’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan that aims to reduce carbon emissions across the city by more than 40% by 2020.

The Council’s 2020 objectives include more efficient energy consumption across all sectors by at least 12%, and renewable energy technologies contributing to at least 40% of energy consumed in the city. Last year, Edinburgh Council confirmed plans to install community-owned solar panels on 25 public buildings across the city.

Edinburgh is not the only Scottish city with ambitions of becoming a world-leading centre for sustainable policy and innovation. Glasgow City Council partners with a number of businesses on diverse sustainable projects, which provide job creation and green capital growth. Glasgow recently ranked inside the global top 25 cities for environmental sustainability.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen has become the first city in Europe to offer hydrogen powered cars for public use on a pay-as-you-go basis, as part of the City Council’s next step in expanding hydrogen infrastructure in the city. Plans to drill a deep geothermal well beneath the city of Aberdeen could deliver heating to thousands of nearby homes and an exhibition centre. 

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George Ogleby

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