Energy company Scottish Gas has entered into a partnership with the Scottish Rugby national governing body that is aimed at helping communities to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints.

The five-year deal, announced today (July 13), will center around a joint investment of £2 million (£2.6 million) from the two organizations in the Club & Community Net Zero Fund, through which more than 130 clubs around Scotland will receive free tailored energy efficiency advice and access grants to help pay for improvements.

It is suggested that clubs could reduce energy consumption by over 50% through the scheme.

Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby, will be used by Scottish Gas as a best practice example for the use of expert support and the identification and potential funding of energy efficiency infrastructure projects. A decarbonization plan and greener energy supply – including solar, wind, hydropower, and biogas – will be put in place for the entire Murrayfield Estate.

Centrica-owned Scottish Gas will also become the title sponsor of the stadium, with it to be known commercially as Scottish Gas Murrayfield from July 29 when Scotland play Italy.

The partnership is intended to reach beyond rugby and engage communities across the country to help achieve the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions for 2045.

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As part of the deal, Scottish Gas becomes the shirt sponsor of the country’s women’s national team, with the upcoming and inaugural WXV being the first major international tournament at which the tie-up will be featured. Age group squads within the women’s development pathway will be supported too.

Elsewhere, UK smart energy platform Hive, which is also owned by Centrica, will become the naming partner for Edinburgh Rugby Stadium, which is the home of both Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland Women. It will become known commercially as the Hive Stadium.

Scottish Gas joins Scottish Rugby’s wide portfolio of partners, which include top-tier principal partners BT, Macron, and Peter Vardy.

The deal follows the announcement in June of Scottish Gas’ new five-year title sponsorship of soccer’s men’s and women’s Scottish Cups. Together, the two deals represented a significant focus on net zero, community engagement, and women’s sports by the energy provider.

Chris O’Shea, chief executive of Centrica, said: “By partnering with Scottish Rugby, we are supporting communities across Scotland to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills, supporting the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions.

“Our Club and Community Net Zero Fund gives clubs a much-needed boost, making rugby greener as a sport and freeing up more resources to develop the grassroots game. We are particularly excited about our partnership with Scotland Women.”

Scottish Rugby’s chief executive Mark Dodson added: “Scottish Rugby is starting out on an important journey towards becoming even more energy efficient and is ready to take on its responsibility and play its part in the country’s transition to a lower-carbon future.

“This deal is therefore important in both a sporting and societal context. Unquestionably, it helps to futureproof rugby in Scotland for the next generation through significant investment and also the contribution and impact Scottish Gas will be having within our community clubs. Our vision, at the time of cost-of-living challenges for clubs and households, is to provide meaningful support and funding to clubs and communities throughout Scotland.

“This partnership with Scottish Gas will help accelerate our ESG strategy and implementation as we work to fulfill our ultimate ambition: to become a leading global rugby union on the path towards sustainability. We are looking forward to working with Scottish Gas and welcoming them into our family of principal partners, alongside BT, Macron, and Peter Vardy.”