Councils are to share £4.4 million for energy efficiency projects across Scotland.
A total of 15 local authorities will receive funding for pilot schemes as part of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP).
Pilot projects are testing innovative ways to reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty before the programme starts in full in 2018.
They include the installation of two large-scale ground source heat pumps in Edinburgh’s Saughton Park.
The project, a Scottish first, will provide renewable heat to the nearby Winter Gardens and new building developments as well as create jobs and savings for the council.
Other schemes to benefit from the funding include energy efficiency measures in NHS Lanarkshire health centres and Orkney schools, and the extension of a district heating network to tower blocks in Falkirk.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “A number of these projects will have a material impact on people’s lives, ensuring they have warm homes, businesses and community centres, while others will help develop essential strategies to support the effective deployment of investment to meet our ambitions to expand renewable heat and address fuel poverty.
“The Scottish Government funding announced today is helping to unlock a larger package totalling over £12 million covering a wide range of projects across Scotland, and these pilots will ultimately help inform deployment of the overarching SEEP programme that will see an estimated total of up to £10 billion invested in heat and energy efficiency in the period to 2030.”
Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme aims to both reduce the amount of heat which is lost from homes and businesses and to decarbonise the way that heat is supplied.
“Both those aims are important if we are to tackle climate change while helping the 31% of Scottish households in fuel poverty.”
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