Edinburgh eyes greener future as new sustainable energy company takes shape

A new energy services company (ESCo) for Edinburgh has moved closer to going live, boosting the Capital's ambition to become a leading sustainable city.

Green light bulb image
Image by mattwalker69

Energy for Edinburgh, an arms-length City of Edinburgh Council organisation focusing exclusively on sustainable energy, will have a Board comprising eight directors. 

Following a competitive interview process for board members, five external directors have been recommended for appointment in a report going before the Council on Thursday 22 September.

Setting up an ESCo is a key plank of the Council's Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) 2015-2020, whose overarching target is to slash carbon emissions by 42% by 2020 (from 2005 levels) - the most ambitious target in the UK.

The SEAP is currently being delivered through five programme areas, namely: energy efficiency, district heating, renewables, resource efficiency and sustainable transport.

Energy for Edinburgh's principal function will be to identify and deliver the SEAP projects across the five programmes. 

It has four prinicpal objectives:
- reduce carbon emissions
- deliver affordable energy (with a particular focus on alleviating fuel poverty)
- generate income
- encourage wider community benefits

Energy for Edinburgh will be key to driving forward energy projects and in particular focusing on developing the scale of projects necessary to achieve considerable carbon reduction. The company will be able to initiate its own projects and deliver a wide range of benefits for the city of Edinburgh. 

The proposed Energy for Edinburgh Board, if approved by councillors, would be: 

Councillor Adam McVey (Interim Chair)
Councillor Lesley Hinds
Councillor Chas Booth
Toby Tucker (subject to employer approval)
Kathryn Dapré
Andrew Joss
Caroline Acton and
Teresa Bray

Cllr McVey, who chaired on the interview panel to select potential Board members, said: "These are really exciting times as we make the transition to a low-carbon Edinburgh and we were delighted with the breadth and calibre of applications to join our board. 

"Energy for Edinburgh will be at the forefront of transforming how energy is used and generated in the Capital, working with a wide range of communities and groups right across the city. Our immediate focus will be to identify the initial low carbon energy projects that will reduce Edinburgh's dependence on fossil fuels and support our citizens and businesses to reduce their energy costs. 

"Achieving our ambitious emissions target will be no mean feat but I know I speak for all the potential board members when I say that we're raring to get going!"

About the prospective external directors of Energy for Edinburgh: 

Toby Tucker
Toby trained and qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG, after completing his first degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge, and a subsequent DPhil at Oxford. Since then, he has accumulated 20 years of commercial and financial experience through senior roles in investment and corporate banking. He has wide ranging experience across the low carbon and infrastructure sectors, with the last three years spent at SFT developing financing tools and funding strategies within their low carbon team. This work provides specific support for key strategic and pathfinder projects, developing processes, methodologies and templates that can be replicated across the wider public sector. 

Andy Joss
A civil engineer, Andy has over twenty-five years' business experience at director level in general management, business development and project management. He specialises in the strategic development of businesses and the commercial management and delivery of privately financed infrastructure projects. He has held senior roles in consulting and contracting and has, amongst others, sector experience in property, energy and the environment.
Since 2001, he has run his own consulting business providing independent support and advice to public and private sector clients, including Plymouth City Council, Local Partnerships and Tamar Energy. He is a seasoned non-executive director, most recently on the Board of DCH Group, chairing its £30m turnover housing development subsidiary. Andy is currently leading Plymouth's drive to develop and implement district energy infrastructure.

Caroline Acton
"Following 10 years spent in IT consultancy focusing on using technology to support business making decisions, I joined the Met Office in September 2013 when I relocated to Devon.  My current role is aligned to business development and my team works closely with clients in the energy sector to develop new services that quantify the impact weather and climate has on assets and infrastructure. These services are underpinned by Met Office world leading scientific capability in areas as diverse as seasonal forecasting and high resolution climate/impact modelling.  I enjoy understanding how science can be tailored to support decisions that deliver social economic benefits."

Kathryn Dapré
Kathryn Dapré is a Chartered Engineer with over 20 years experience in energy and carbon consultancy work, academic research and engineering practice. Kathryn’s current role is Head of Engineering, Energy and Sustainability within NHS National Services Scotland. Her team's remit is to provide professional advice and support on all aspects of healthcare estate engineering resilience, energy management and sustainable development to NHS Scotland Boards and their stakeholders.

Teresa Bray
Teresa is an accountant by trade. She has worked in the Third Sector for 25 years. Having trained as an accountant in the private sector she joined the social housing sector in 1988 in London. She moved back to Edinburgh in 2001 as Finance Director of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).  
Teresa has been Chief Executive of Changeworks for eight years. Changeworks is a leading environmental charity in Scotland which develops solutions that help individuals and organisations reduce their impact on the environment. In addition to delivering one of Scotland's most successful recycling services for businesses, Changeworks advises householders and communities on how to reduce waste and carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency,  tackle fuel poverty and install renewables. 

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