Salix Finance helps HE energy efficiency surge ahead

29th June 2017

Almost half of all higher education institutions (HEIs) in England worked with Salix on energy efficiency projects in the last financial year, resulting in the completion of projects utilising over £20m from Salix managed programmes.

As well as impressive carbon emissions savings, these projects will also see annual savings of £4m annually and £63 million over the lifetime of the projects.

Projects valued at over £12.9m were financed through Revolving Green Fund 4 (RGF4), which was jointly funded by Salix and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). In addition, funds set up in 2008 as part of the first round of the Revolving Green Fund, also jointly funded with HEFCE, continue to be utilised by HEIs, and these saw a further £4.8m invested in projects. As these operate as ring fenced funds, HEIs have now managed to reinvest their original funds 2.5 times over with a further £4.5m already committed to projects which will complete this year.

The remaining £2.8m of projects completed in 2016/17 were financed through the Salix Energy Efficiency Loans Scheme (SEELS) – interest-free loans available to all English public sector bodies including higher and further education institutions, which is still accepting applications for funding.

These projects all contribute towards the significant carbon reduction targets for 2020 which HEIs are working towards. To date, a reduction of over 17% has been made based on a 2005 baseline*. The benefits of making these reductions to carbon footprints are not just environmental; with an annual energy bill of over £350 million, a further 30% cut to emissions could reduce bills by over £100 million per year. In addition, typical carbon reduction projects can result in improved working and learning environments, reduce ongoing maintenance costs and improve existing building stock.

A wide variety of energy efficiency projects were completed throughout the year including LED lighting, fume cupboard upgrades, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Building Energy Management System (BEMS) upgrades. Recently, a large scale chiller replacement project, utilising over £1m of RGF4 funding, was completed at the University of Nottingham’s medical school. It is set to save the university over 930 tonnes of carbon annually** and £3.4m over the lifetime of the project.

Andy Nolan, Director of Sustainability at the University of Nottingham said; “The funding enabled us to carry out one of the key projects in our carbon reduction programme. The interest-free loan allowed us to use the latest technology to deliver the most efficient chilled water system for the Medical School, our most energy intensive building. We are already seeing significant financial and carbon savings since the project completed and we look forward to continuing our work with Salix in the future.”  

Salix is taking applications for projects completing this year and beyond and has recently worked with HEIs to commit a further £15 million to energy efficiency projects which will complete in the coming year. For more information, please visit .
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