41 higher education institutions are set to drastically reduce energy bills after successfully bidding for the Salix Finance and Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Revolving Green Fund Four.
The £29m of funding will be used for investment in energy efficiency projects, which will reduce energy bills by more than £5m and carbon emissions by over 25 tonnes each year.
The intention of the fund is to encourage innovative projects that significantly reduce energy use and therefore carbon emissions. A condition of the funding is that learning is shared amongst the higher education sector to promote good practice in terms of creating sustainable buildings and inspiring learning environments.
Applications for the fourth round of the RGF indicate that energy efficiency is a priority on the agenda: with applications from universities totalling over £38m.
The £29m match-funded loans programme was designed to accelerate investment in energy efficient technologies, creating long-term carbon and financial savings in the higher education sector. The RGF supports the carbon targets that the sector established in 2010. The targets are for a 34 per cent reduction by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 against a 1990 baseline, the latter in line with the Climate Change Act 2008.
Salix Finance Chief Executive, Annie Shepperd, said:
‘We are proud to be involved in this world class initiative to make our universities more energy efficient and contribute to our nation’s carbon reduction plan. We need our universities to lead the way and influence others. Students are looking to be educated in institutions which act as exemplars in terms of sustainability. This matters for our future.’