The University of Birmingham is on track to save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions after investing in a range of energy efficient technologies.
Over the last ten years, the university has implemented more than £4m worth of energy reduction projects, including lighting upgrades and cooling system replacements, in a bid to lower its energy use and environmental impact.
These projects, many of which were made possible using the interest-free funding from Salix Finance, have helped the university to cut its carbon emissions by 10,000 tonnes per year, surpassing its 20% carbon reduction target for 2020 four years early.
The university has undertaken a number of ambitious schemes and multiple funding streams during it’s long standing partnership with Salix.
Notably, the university has benefited from the Revolving Green Fund, provided by Salix in partnership with the former Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)*. The recycling fund sees financial savings, achieved through the reduced energy bills, reinvested into the fund to allow for further energy efficiency projects.
More than £2m of funding was provided to the University of Birmingham in 2016 for it to engage in a wide range of energy efficiency upgrades. These included the installation of high efficiency LED lighting and controls in laboratories, offices and student accommodation, replacement of existing cooling plant, upgrading of insulation and replacement of inefficient laboratory equipment.
Supported through the Revolving Green Fund, these huge projects have resulted in annual savings of over £450,000 thanks to the reduced energy bills.
In 2015, an additional £2million contribution via, the Salix/HEFCE Revolving Green Fund 4 scheme to install an additional CHP unit was made. This supplies additional heat and power to the new sports centre, including a 50m pool, new build and refinished student residences with any surplus feeding the existing campus resulting in estimated lifetime savings of over £9million for this project alone.
Mohammed Shamraze, Energy Engineer, University of Birmingham said: “The Revolving Green Fund has continued to support the roll out of LED replacements on campus and increase the focus on energy reduction projects in Laboratories.” Mohammed, Energy Engineer, University of Birmingham.”
Qasim Akhtar, programme manager at Salix Finance, said: “The University of Birmingham have made great strides in reducing their carbon footprint by investing in energy efficiency projects. Salix is looking forward to continuing the strong relationship it has with the university to deliver more energy efficiency initiatives as part of its ongoing estates and carbon management strategy”.
*HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) was replaced on 1 April 2018 by the Office for Students, the new regulatory body for higher education in England.