Newcastle University continue long-standing commitment to carbon reduction by delivering estate-wide LED upgrade

Salix is proud to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of supporting Newcastle University with the delivery of energy efficiency projects. In 2008, the University was involved in establishing a Salix/HEFCE Revolving Green Fund 1 and set up a ring-fenced fund of £625,000. Over the past 10 years the University have recycled their original fund almost three times and invested over £2.6 million in energy efficiency projects. They have delivered projects to install several measures including LED lighting and lighting control upgrades, Building Energy Management Systems, Laboratory upgrades, Insulation and Cooling plant replacement.

The university have achieved outstanding performance through the recycling fund scheme and have continued this through the delivery of a three-year, £2.4 million, estate-wide LED lighting upgrade. The first phase of the project, which began in 2018, is predicted to save the university £120,000 and 432 tCO2 annually. Sam Boot, Energy Manager at the university said, “Our LED retrofit scheme is a big step towards meeting the University’s carbon targets. By signing up to the BEIS carbon pledge of a 30% reduction in emissions against a 2010 baseline by July 2021, hard-hitting carbon efficiency projects are firmly at the top of our agenda. Projects that are only viable with the support of Salix funding.” The university’s carbon reduction activities and the use of their revolving fund will ensure that they are on track to achieve these ambitious carbon reduction targets, despite a continuous expansion of their estate since 2010.

Energy efficiency projects of different scale and value can be financed through the fund. In 2016/17, the University used £42,000 of interest-free funding to undertake a campus-wide pipework insulation scheme - a measure that is highly recommended by the estates team due to the quick installation period and significant potential savings. Over 1000 bespoke energy saving jackets were fitted and are estimated to save the university over £1 million across the lifetime of the project. The loan was repaid into the revolving fund in less than a year due to the high annual financial savings.

The accumulation of funding ensures that works can be identified, and finance secured in advance. Sam added, “Year on year since 2008 we have realised savings and reinvested them in our Salix revolving green fund. The annual growth in the recycling fund has allowed us to complete increasingly larger scaled projects, further aided by the recent changes in Salix’s project compliancy criteria.” For example, the University recently completed the upgrade of ventilation in the main data centre of the Claremont Tower, a £146,000 project that has been scheduled to coincide with the large three-year refurbishment and reconfiguration of the Daysh and Claremont building complex.

Salix will continue to support Newcastle University through providing finance for the second and third years of the LED retrofit. Through the revolving fund the University have accumulated over £200,000 in the past year as a result of the savings they have made on energy bills from previously implemented projects. This funding has been allocated to install a Building Energy Management System in a new sports centre development and for Laboratory upgrades.

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