University Carbon Reduction Fund

On behalf of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Salix Finance has been appointed as programme support for the University Carbon Reduction Fund. The programme aims to significantly reduce the Scottish university sector carbon footprint, and priority will be given to applications which demonstrate robust carbon and financial savings.

Up to £20 million is available in interest-free loans for projects that achieve cost savings and reduce carbon emissions. Funding is intended to support:

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

Project criteria:

  • A maximum loan repayment period of 7 years
  • A cost per tonne of CO2e over the lifetime of a project of £200 or less*

Applications will be assessed on a first come first served basis. All applications will then be considered by a programme advisory group, comprising of experts in carbon reduction and estate projects.  Priority will be given to those projects which best address the aims of the programme.

Key timeframes:

  • Expressions of interest -  9th September 2017
  • Workshop session - 20th September 2017
  • Small & large scale application deadline - 31st October 2017
  • Applicants notified by  - 15th December 2017
  • Projects start  - March - July 2018
  • Project completions by - July 2019
  • Loans recovered by - July 2026

Project categories

Strand 1: Small-scale energy efficiency programmes

This strand is to support programmes of relatively small-scale measures to improve energy efficiency. Each university may make one application for a programme consisting of one or more projects. If the university does not apply for a large scale programme, they are permitted to make two small scale applications. Small scale applications should be for a minimum value of £50,000 and a maximum of £500,000.

Applications for small-scale energy efficiency programmes will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Carbon and financial savings, payback period and lifetime cost of carbon savings
  • Evidence of institutional commitment to carbon reduction and establishing a low-carbon culture
  • Clarity and quality of information submitted
  • Arrangements for project management and delivery

All projects must be completed by July 2019.

Around £5 million to £8 million is anticipated to be allocated to small-scale energy efficiency programmes.

Strand 2: Large-scale retrofit, new technology, renewables or other projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions

This strand is to support large-scale building or campus-wide projects that will reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. Each university may make one application under this strand. Large scale applications should be for a minimum value of £500,000 and a maximum of £5 million. Universities are encouraged to use their own funding towards projects exceeding £5 million.

Applications should demonstrate clear outcomes from the project, such as the following:

  • Reduction in carbon emissions and energy costs
  • Improvements in carbon emissions relative to floor area
  • Improvement in the Energy Performance Certificate ratings of buildings
  • Improvement in the BREEAM ratings of buildings

The assessment criteria for large-scale projects will be:

  • Predicted carbon savings, financial savings and payback period
  • Extent to which the project will act as an demonstrator for innovative technologies or approaches
  • Institutional commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the efficient use of space and establishing a low-carbon culture
  • Clarity and quality of the proposals
  • Project management, delivery and arrangements for managing risk

All projects must be completed by July 2019.

Proposal Development

To help with project development a selection of case studies and project knowledge slides (PKS) can be found here. These are examples of energy efficiency projects which have been completed by Salix clients within the higher education sector, demonstrating the carbon and financial savings these institutions have been able to achieve. 

For futher project development ideas over 400 project examples and good practice calculation tools can be found in Salix’s knowledge sharing area, which is restricted to public sector access. Further information and resources on good practice in carbon reduction in universities and colleges is available from EAUC Scotland.

Both Salix and EAUC Scotland can provide advice for developing project ideas for UCRF applications.

The following two reports are particularly relevant to this programme:

How to Apply

  • Universities wishing to apply are asked to register their expression of interest on the Salix website no later than 9th September 2017, and will be offered a dedicated Salix contact to support the submission of an application.
  • Application forms are available on request from [email protected] / [email protected], and must be submitted to Salix from the 1st to the 31st October 2017. Applications received after this date will not be considered.
  • A workshop will be run on the 20th September 2017 to provide further information on the application process and good practice example projects.
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by 15th December 2017. Loans will be paid to successful applicants by March 2018, and projects should be scheduled to start between March and July 2018.

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

Programme Manager
Sam Illsley 0203 102 6905 [email protected]
Programme Co-ordinators
Jennifer Roberts 0203 102 6904
Client Support Officers
Corinne Manion 0203 714 5659
[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.  

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