Interest-free finance for energy-efficiency measures in HE

Sponsored: Salix Finance on how it can support unis to implement energy efficiency measures in new buildings and continue to reduce energy consumption

The recent growth in estates across the higher education sector replicates the level of expansion observed during the 1960s. It was reported that during the first six months of 2016, British universities increased their spending on new-builds by 43%*, a trend that is predicted to continue. In October 2017 the Office for Students (OFS) estimated that an additional £19.4bn will be invested on physical infrastructure improvements between 2016/17 and 2019/20**.

To improve their competitive offering and attract students, universities constantly seek innovative and groundbreaking designs for their new-build developments. This presents an ideal opportunity to implement energy-efficient technologies from the design or construction stage. To effectively mitigate against the increasing energy consumption and energy spend, it is paramount that new building design and construction considers the most energy-efficient solutions. However, the fine balance between financial budgets and spend on new projects can result in such solutions being overlooked. Salix recognises this barrier and can support universities to incorporate the most energy efficient technologies, that can often exceed internal budgets, in new buildings.

Since 2006, Salix has worked with almost 100 universities in England to fund over 4,000 energy efficiency projects that are estimated to save £35m a year and over 130,000 tonnes of carbon each year†. Salix can provide interest-free funding for energy efficiency projects that go above and beyond the requirements set out in building regulations. This allows scope for institutions to upgrade energy-efficient technologies or to install on-site low-carbon energy generation. For example, projects to add lighting controls or to install solar PV are well suited to new-build developments. Other technologies that have recently been popular across the higher education sector include combined heat and power, building energy management systems and laboratory upgrades; where there may be an opportunity to make further efficiency improvements in-plant by accessing Salix Finance.

This provides a new opportunity for the higher education sector to work with Salix in continuing to make progress towards carbon reduction targets and to reduce energy spend from new buildings. Furthermore, this can support higher education institutions to advance their teaching and learning environment for staff and students through innovative estate expansion plans, whilst addressing energy efficiency.

Salix are exhibiting at the EAUC Annual Conference at Keele University on 19th–21st June 2018. Members of the Salix team will be available to discuss any energy efficiency projects you have in mind. Please get in touch with universities@salixfinance.co.uk if you are attending the conference and would like to set up a meeting.

Visit www.salixfinance.co.uk for more information or call 020 3102 6918. 

 

* www.ft.com/content/03522a1c-4a9b-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab
** www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/university-building-boom-reshaping-our-cities#survey-answer
† calculated using emission factors published by government in 2017 for carbon footprinting purposes