University Carbon Reduction Fund

On behalf of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Salix Finance was appointed as programme support for the University Carbon Reduction Fund. Up to £20 million was made available in interest-free loans for projects that reduced carbon emissions and achieved cost savings. The programme aimed to significantly reduce the Scottish university sector carbon footprint and institutions were encouraged to submit proposals that would showcase innovation and sustainability across the sector.

The funding was intended to support two categories of projects:

  • Small-scale energy efficiency programmes,
  • Large-scale projects which may involve retrofit, new technologies, small-scale renewables or other work which met the objectives of the fund.

In December 2017, 11 Scottish universities were awarded a total of £16,181,690 for their low carbon projects. Thanks to this fund universities are now working towards improving the energy performance of their estates, as well as enhancing the learning, working and living environment for staff and students.

Key timeframes:

  • Projects start - March - July 2019
  • Q1 Monitoring Form – July 2019
  • Q2 Monitoring Form – Oct 2019
  • Q3 Monitoring Form – Jan 2020
  • Q4 Monitoring Form – Apr 2020
  • Project completions by - July 2020
  • Loans recovered by - July 2026

Monitoring Forms

Universities are kindly requested to submit a quarterly monitoring form to Salix to update on their project progress, notifying Salix of any cost changes, risk or delays to UCRF projects. The monitoring forms are available here for download.

The next monitoring form is due on 31st October 2019 and subsequently as outlined above.  When completed, please email your forms to [email protected]

We would like to capture and disseminate the learning from your project for the benefit of the wider sector. We would like this to include lessons on what worked well, and less well. This will be done through series of case studies which will be developed in partnership with the EAUC to disseminate best practice across the sector. We will support you with this work during delivery and post project completion. We also encourage Universities to take photographs to document their project progress.


As part of the UCRF award, Universities are expected to monitor the energy savings for four subsequent years and provide updates annually in August.   

One of the key activities in the project monitoring stage is to ensure that the institutions are measuring the savings correctly, so that loans can be repaid within the agreed timeframe. From Salix’s own experience there are steps universities can take to ensure they are robustly monitoring their energy savings with minimal additional project costs. These steps are defined as follows:

Monitoring of the project savings

The installation of new plant items or systems will often bring with them the opportunity to install new monitoring systems if they do not already exist. Wherever possible it is recommended that real-time monitoring via sub-meters, or a link to a building energy management system is provided. This will allow an accurate assessment of the savings to be made.

If this level of modelling is not practical to achieve then an alternative plan needs to be clearly defined to capture the energy data. For projects in buildings with predictable energy use profiles it may be possible to monitor the change in energy consumption from the main meters. For buildings with more complex energy use profiles, then temporary local energy logging may be more appropriate.

The actual energy consumption of a system is only one half of the picture and it is important that the factors that drive the consumption are also measured. Common driving factors include external temperature, occupancy patterns, and the activities taking place within a building. The universities will be expected to provide details on how these driving factors will be monitored.

The monitoring strategy used in the project will be expected to include details of how the energy consumption and driving factor data will be collected, analysed and reported. There is expected to be a named individual who will take responsibility for managing the process, as well as a list of stakeholders who will be informed of the performance of the project. The analysis of the data should be sufficiently detailed to identify any anomalies in the consumption, so that further investigations can be made, and corrective action taken if necessary.

Other monitoring methods

One well established method of verifying energy savings on a project is the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP).

If you have any questions or wish to discuss any potential projects, please contact a member of the Salix Scotland support team.

Programme Manager
Heather Jones 0204 542 9092 [email protected]
Programme Coordinator
Christopher Masters 0204 542 9092 [email protected]
Client Support Officer
Natalie Hobbs 0204 542 9092 [email protected]

* The lifetime cost of carbon is calculated from the estimated annual energy savings (kWh) and the equivalent carbon (tCO2e) for the saved fuel type. This is multiplied by a persistence factor (see Technology List & Con. Factors) to calculate an estimated lifetime carbon saving.