A STRATEGY to improve energy efficiency in buildings across East Lothian has scooped a top award.

East Lothian Council’s draft local heat and energy efficiency strategy (LHEES) won the Technology and Innovation Award at the 2023 Holyrood Climate Action Awards.

The draft LHEES sets out a long-term plan for improving energy efficiency and decarbonising heat in all domestic and non-domestic buildings across the county.

It is primarily driven by Scotland’s statutory targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and fuel poverty.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, East Lothian Council leader, was pleased with the success at the awards in Edinburgh.

He said: “I am delighted our draft strategy has been recognised in these awards and would like to add my congratulations to the team working on this initiative and all the members of our community who have helped shape it.

“It will both influence and impact on all three overarching objectives in the East Lothian Council Plan (2022-2027): recovering with future sustainability, reducing fuel poverty and, most significantly, delivering the actions required to make East Lothian reach its net-zero targets.

“Delivery of this strategy will require national co-ordination and significant funding from both the Scottish and UK Governments, as well as the private sector.

“It is also essential that energy provided to households is affordable.”

East Lothian Council began work on LHEES in 2019 as part of a Scottish Government pilot programme.

ChangeWorks was appointed to carry out the first piloting stages of LHEES and the draft strategy was approved by the council in October.

It is hoped that a final version of the strategy will be approved in February.

The approved LHEES draft strategy focuses on achieving seven outcomes:

l East Lothian’s communities and property decision-makers are engaged to deliver net-zero heating targets;

l Every property owner will be supported to find a more resilient heating solution;

l Heat solutions delivered to meet 2045 net-zero target and tackle fuel poverty;

l East Lothian’s homes and buildings are as energy efficient as possible;

l Investment and grant funding secured to deliver net-zero projects;

l A significant proportion of the benefits of net-zero investment remain within the East Lothian economy;

l Additional legislative changes and support required from Scottish and UK Governments.

Now in their third year, the Holyrood Climate Action Awards (formally the Green Giant Awards) recognise key players who are making significant contributions to Scotland’s net-zero journey.