NEW council homes being built in Scotland’s capital will be banned from having gas central heating as a key part of a pledge for Edinburgh to become carbon neutral in the next 10 years.

Edinburgh City Council, which is set to commit an extra £390 million as part of almost £3 billion of total investment to build 20,000 affordable homes, will also attempt to retrofit its existing council homes with carbon neutral or Passivhaus technology.

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have committed to become carbon neutral by 2030, with gas central heating a key barrier to success.

Council officials in Edinburgh have now committed to “ensure all new homes meet net zero carbon”. But they have warned that “meeting the energy and low carbon standards demanded over the next decade will be challenging and expensive and will require a new approach”.

Over the last five years, more than half of council homes in Edinburgh have been upgraded for energy efficiency – with more than 7,000 new heating systems installs. Plans are being drawn up by officials to expand the work and complete an 85 per cent carbon reduction.

Kate Campbell, Edinburgh’s housing, homelessness and fair work convener, said: "These are two incredibly ambitious plans which together form the bedrock of our housing strategy over the next ten years.

"The need for more social homes in Edinburgh is acute – and as a city we must respond. But alongside this we know there is more work to do improving existing homes and estates. This is a strategy to promote wellbeing, to improve mental health, to reduce carbon emissions alongside fuel bills. To make sure that everybody has a home where they feel safe and secure, that is warm and easy to heat and crucially, that they can afford.”

She added: “We have one of the most ambitious housebuilding plans in the country and a record number of new homes are being approved. Over 3,500 are in design and development and 800 are under construction, and our aim is to put carbon neutrality at the heart of every single project.

“We’re listening to tenants. It’s important that they shape the strategy and direct spending. Tenants are telling us that their priorities are building new homes, improving existing ones, reducing the cost of living and improving services. And so this is a strategy that does just that.”