EDINBURGH looks set to win the race to have the first operable energy services company in Scotland set up by a local authority.

Energy for Edinburgh is to be the name of an arm’s-length council organisation focusing exclusively on sustainable energy.

It will be the third of its kind set up by a council in Britain, following Nottingham and Bristol – residents of the former have seen their energy bills slashed since Robin Hood Energy came into being last September.

Glasgow City Council has been planning an energy services company (ESCo) for some time but Edinburgh will this week move ahead and name the first board members. Setting up an ESCo is a key plank of Edinburgh City Council’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan, which aims to slash carbon emissions in the capital by 42 per cent by 2020 from 2005 levels, the most ambitious target in the UK.

The new ESCo will look to identify sustainable projects in five designated programmes: energy efficiency, district heating, renewables, resource efficiency and sustainable transport.

The overall plan is to reduce carbon emissions, deliver affordable energy, with a particular focus on alleviating fuel poverty, generate income and encourage wider community benefits.

A council statement said: “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 tomorrow, would be councillors Adam McVey (interim chairman), Lesley Hinds, Chas Booth and individuals who are all experts in their field.

They are Toby Tucker, subject to employer approval, Kathryn Dapre, Andrew Joss, Caroline Acton and Teresa Bray.

McVey, who chaired 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.

“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 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.”