19 February 2009

Signing up to save energy

Colchester Campus

The University of Essex has been successful in its application to the HEFCE/Salix Institutional Small Project Fund. The University will receive £160,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Salix, to which it will add its own additional 25 per cent contribution, creating a ring-fenced fund of £200,000 to invest in energy saving projects across its campuses.

Richard Frost, Energy Manager at the University, explains: ‘An ISP fund allows institutions, like Essex, to receive ring-fenced, interest-free conditional grants to be spent on energy and carbon-saving projects. The key principle is that financial savings from funded projects are repaid into the ring-fenced fund held by the institution for re-investment in further projects.

‘Once the original project investment is repaid to the fund, the University will be free to keep ongoing savings. We do not have to repay the conditional grant while we continue to re-invest savings in eligible projects. The Estate Management Section is already looking at a number of new and refurbishment projects which can be enhanced through the utilisation of this fund.’

Signing with the Salix fund follows a number of new energy saving initiatives at the University, such as installing a wind turbine on top of the new building for the School of Health and Human Sciences and an extensive thermal imaging programme to target heat loss from University buildings. In addition, the Centre for Brain Sciences building at the Colchester Campus uses a combination of sustainable technologies like ground source heat pumps (which use energy within the soil to heat the building), solar panels to heat water and rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets.

Salix is an independent, publicly funded company set up to accelerate public sector investment in energy efficiency technologies through invest to save schemes. It has public funding from the Carbon Trust and works with higher and further education institutions, local authorities, NHS foundation trusts and central government. Salix enables public sector bodies to improve energy efficiency, attain targets, reduce energy bills and raise green credentials.

HEFCE is responsible for funding universities in England and approached Salix to provide the sector with a funding source to implement carbon saving projects.

Ends


Notes to editors:
To find out more about Salix, please see: www.salixfinance.co.uk/home.html


Contacts
For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

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