Low Carbon

The focus of SFT’s Low Carbon, Energy Efficiency and District Heating work stream is to support investment in the public sector estate to contribute to achieving Scotland’s Climate Change targets. SFT’s work not only generates cost and carbon savings, but also supports local economic development and improves the existing estate for the benefit of all users.

SFT is a member of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) which has been established by the Scottish Government to support low carbon investment through collaboration and partnership working across Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Resource Efficient Scotland and SFT. 

Street Lighting

Across Scotland, there are some 900,000 street lights costing local authorities £41m in annual electricity charges. These street lights also impact on the environment by releasing nearly 200,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.

With electricity prices forecast by the Department of Energy & Climate Change to increase substantially over the next ten years, it was timely that in February 2015 SFT published its latest Street Lighting Toolkit. The Toolkit is aimed to provide local authorities with the most up-to-date information to enable them prepare robust business cases to invest in spend-to-save measures to phase in new LED lighting. Work to date with local authorities, Scottish Government and Resource Efficient Scotland has seen committed street lighting investment levels increase from £6.9m in 2013/14 to £30m in 2014/15, and cumulatively is set to reach £138m during 2016/17 converting some 250,000 street lamps.

Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency (NDEE)

Given the scale of the Scottish public sector estate (over 19 million square metres – equivalent in size to 4,000 football pitches) an opportunity exists for the Scottish public sector to lead by example in facilitating the implementation of energy efficiency across the public sector, to stimulate the NDEE market and act as a catalyst for retrofit projects across both the public and private sector.

The purpose of SFT’s work in this area is to facilitate access to a NDEE commercial framework, with a range of suppliers that meets the breadth of requirements of the Scottish public sector. 

District Heating

Using district heating as an alternative source to supply heat and hot water to the home can go a long way towards alleviating fuel poverty. As a result, district heating has been identified as a core priority by Scottish Government, with the public sector playing a key role as a facilitator of district heating schemes as well as a significant generator and purchaser of heat.

For the public sector to play its part, SFT is actively supporting the Heat Network Partnership and addressing a wide range of complex issues, including how best to structure the commercial propositions and how to finance the public sector’s contribution to these schemes. SFT is currently supporting a number of authorities, including Glasgow City Council, The City of Edinburgh Council and Falkirk Council in the development of district heating initiatives in their areas.


For further information, please contact Viv Cockburn, Director of Corporate Services and Low Carbon.