Local Heat and Energy Strategy Pilot Energy efficiency and decarbonisation of heat in public sector buildings in Inverclyde

Inverclyde Council provides local authority services throughout the Inverclyde area, covering Greenock, Gourock, Port Glasgow, Wemyss Bay, Inverkip, Kilmacolm and Quarriers Village. It contains a large public sector estate which includes properties owned and/or operated by Inverclyde Council, the NHS, Police Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, West College Scotland, Scottish Water and national government. Notable buildings are large administration offices, schools, libraries, the McLean Museum and Art Gallery, sport and leisure facilities, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, and Greenock Prison.

Inverclyde Council LHEES Pilot

In 2018 the Scottish Government launched a 20 year Energy Efficient Scotland programme, Route Map and Transition Programme. Published in conjunction with the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map, the two year Energy Efficient Scotland Transition Programme offers funding to local authorities to support the development of a Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES), which aims to establish area-based plans and priorities for systematically improving the energy efficiency of buildings, and decarbonising heat.

In 2018 Inverclyde Council submitted a successful application for LHEES pilot 2 funding. As part of the pilot programme, Inverclyde Council was required to prepare an LHEES by December 2019, focused on improving energy efficiency and decarbonising heat in public sector buildings in the Inverclyde area. This included:

  • Establishing a baseline understanding of heat and energy efficiency for the public sector estate;
  • Engaging with the public sector in Inverclyde to help identify issues and options related to improving energy efficiency and decarbonisation of heat;
  • Developing an implementation plan for preferred and viable solutions over the next 15-20 years.

Project partners

The project engaged with a number of public sector organisations in Inverclyde including, Police Scotland, Scottish Court Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, West College Scotland, Inverclyde Leisure, Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership, Scottish Water, Riverside Inverclyde, Waterfront Cinema and Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited.

Inverclyde Council also worked with the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), a centre for infrastructure expertise, who provided assistance on implementation plans and delivery programmes from the outputs of the Phase 2 LHEES Pilot projects.

© Gregor Roach/Getty Images

Key figures and statistics

If approved by Inverclyde Council, the LHEES and implementation plan will cover the period 2020 to 2032. A baseline year for carbon emissions reduction of 2015 was taken, with a reduction target of 59% to 2032. The contribution of emissions for public sector bodies in Inverclyde is as follows:

  • Inverclyde Council – 39%
  • NHS – 27%
  • Inverclyde Leisure – 17%
  • Scottish Prison Service – 7%
  • West College Scotland – 6%
  • Police Scotland – 2%
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – 1%
  • Scottish Courts Service – 1%

Proposed costs, savings and payback

The objectives of the LHEES are to reduce heating demand by 20% and generate 70% of heat from low carbon sources by 2032. Wide and reduced area heat networks were proposed with costs, savings and payback as follows:

Wide Area Heat Network

  • Capital cost - £11,650,000
  • Average annual carbon savings – 3,170 tonnes
  • Average annual cost savings - £727,000
  • Payback period – 16 years

Reduced Area Heat Network

  • Capital cost - £4,225,000
  • Average annual carbon savings – 1,770 tonnes
  • Average annual cost savings - £407,500
  • Payback period – 10 years
"The LHEES Pilot project has been useful in proposing what a LHEES might look like. It has also suggested targets, what would be required to achieve them and how progress against the targets can be monitored. Of particular use has been the energy surveys with suggested measures for energy efficiency and decarbonisation and the options appraisal for heat networks using 3-D mapping." Paul Murphy, Carbon Reduction Officer, Inverclyde Council

Key project outputs

Identifying targets

Identifying the period which the LHEES will cover (2020 to 2032), baseline emissions (year 2015, with carbon emissions of 25,000 tonnes) and carbon reduction targets of 59%.

LHEES strategy on a page

A ‘LHEES Strategy on a Page’ was produced, stating the vision, mission, aims and objectives of the LHEES along with an action plan. To complement this, a LHEES Flowchart was provided, giving a graphic detailing how the LHEES can be applied and to inform decision making.

Carbon performance tracking

A dashboard spreadsheet tool was developed to track and adjust the carbon performance of Inverclyde Council against the carbon reduction target following the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable/low carbon heating measures. The dashboard tool further provides energy benchmarks using the Scottish Energy Officers Network (SEON) benchmarking tool.


Surveys were carried out for a number of Inverclyde Council buildings to determine recommendations for energy efficiency and considerations for low carbon heating. Survey results were summarised in a spreadsheet detailing energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating considerations with estimates of consumption, cost and carbon saving and payback periods.

Implementation plan

Energy efficiency and renewable heat implementation plans were produced. These detailed the stages involved in implementing energy efficiency and renewable/low carbon heating measures, for example, timescales; costs; resource implications; sources of funding. Green leases and a LHEES working group were proposed to engage those organisations that operate properties owned by Inverclyde Council and other public sector organisations.

Options appraisal

An options appraisal for local heat networks was provided. This incorporated heat mapping, including 3-D mapping, detailing the sites that could be included in different heat networks. It further detailed the resources in terms of human, technology, area along with the capital and revenue implications required to implement the heat networks. Heat demands were assessed for the heat networks along with proposals for energy centres. Savings in terms of costs and carbon and payback periods were calculated for each of the heat network options.

3-D Heat Mapping of Public Bodies in Inverclyde

Project challenges

Project delays: Funding was awarded to Inverclyde Council for the Phase 2 LHEES Pilot project in August 2018, however the project start was delayed until February 2019 due to changes in the project scope required by the Scottish Government, as well as concerns of Inverclyde Council in successfully completing the project. The decision was taken to focus the project on public sector buildings in Inverclyde, allaying concerns of Inverclyde Council.

Procurement processes: Inverclyde Council procured consultants to undertake the project. This was a lengthy process to ensure procedures were adhered to and to complete the tender process.

Collation of data: There were delays with the collation of relevant data. This was on account of:

  • difficulties with access to the Council’s half-hourly electricity data and delays with data provision from some Inverclyde public sector organisations;
  • organisations not confirming their involvement in the project or providing data;
  • some uncertainty from organisations over their Inverclyde sites;
  • organisations not having control of the leased sites they occupied

Engagement: An issue highlighted in the draft report was with engagement and the consideration of energy efficiency and low carbon heating options for public sector organisations other than Inverclyde Council.

Deadlines: An extension was agreed to include comments on the draft report from the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), due to contractor availability and strict deadlines.

Future plans

Inverclyde Council is considering using the Phase 2 LHEES Pilot project report, appendices and dashboard tool as a future LHEES for Inverclyde Council.

The LHEES has still to be approved by Inverclyde Council.

LHEES local authority contact details.