Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
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£25 million awarded to transform approaches to energy consumption

Forty-four higher education institutions (HEIs) have been awarded a share of £25 million from the Revolving Green Fund, a partnership fund between the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) and Salix Finance. The fund enables HEIs to radically transform their approaches to energy consumption and reducing emissions.

HEIs have applied for funds through two strands: an institutional small projects (ISP) fund and a transformational fund for large, one-off projects. Over 100 expressions of interest have been received for the two strands, demonstrating a high level of interest. In total £30 million is available for the Revolving Green Fund, of which £10 million is allocated for the transformational fund and £20 million for the ISP fund.

Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: ‘Higher education has a substantial contribution to make in the area of sustainable development. The level of interest shown in this fund demonstrates that institutions are embracing this agenda, and we believe that this funding will significantly contribute to the higher education sector’s efforts in this area’.

Alastair Keir, Chief Executive of Salix Finance adds: ‘Energy-saving practices benefit the bottom line as well as reducing CO2 emissions; it is often the simplest of changes that can have the biggest impacts. The savings made from easy to implement projects ultimately free up vital resources to be spent on improvements to core services and facilities.’

Transformational fund
Under the transformational fund, the £10 million of funding was allocated to three HEIs, for projects submitted by the University of East Anglia, Harper Adams University College and Lancaster University:

  • The University of East Anglia project will establish a biomass energy centre at its Norwich campus. The project is set to become the first biomass gasification combined heat and power plant in England.
  • Harper Adams University College’s project will look into anaerobic digestion for renewable energy production. The project will use farm waste and food waste streams diverted from landfill to generate renewable power.
  • The Lancaster University project aims to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from electricity consumption, reduce reliance on imported electricity, and address the major global threats of climate change and resource depletion.

Each of these HEIs will add further resources from their own funds, leveraging an additional £9.1 million in total.

Institutional small projects (ISP) fund
Thirty HEIs have been funded for the first round of the ISP fund. Together with the 11 HEIs already working with Salix, they will share £14.8 million. All of this money is to be spent on energy and carbon-saving projects. The full list of funded HEIs for the ISP fund is available at: www.salixfinance.co.uk/heenglandparticipants.html

A second round of the ISP fund with a value of £5.2 million was launched in February. The outcome will be announced in May 2009 on the Salix web-site.

Each beneficiary of the ISP fund has to contribute an additional 25 per cent to that provided by HEFCE and Salix, resulting in a further £5 million in total being leveraged for the ISP Fund from individual institutions.

As per the terms of the Revolving Green Fund, both HEFCE and Salix’s contribution to the projects is provided as a long-term recoverable grant. The fund was launched in August 2008 to support projects in the higher education sector that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In total £44.1 million will be spent on energy-saving projects; this figure includes each HEI’s contribution to the projects.

HEFCE: Philip Walker: 0117 931 7363, p.walker@hefce.ac.uk
Salix Finance: Henry Collinge, Kinross + Render PR, Tel: 020 7592 3100, hc@kinrossrender.com
University of East Anglia: Annie Ogden, 01603 593496, a.ogden@uea.ac.uk 
Harper Adams University College: Jaclyn Green, 01952 815 291, jgreen@harper-adams.ac.uk 
Lancaster University: Beth Broomby 01524 592612, b.broomby@lancaster.ac.uk10


  1. Further information on the Revolving Green Fund and HEFCE’s approach to sustainability is available on the HEFCE web-site at: www.hefce.ac.uk/lgm/sustain/carbon/

2.      The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) distributes public money for teaching, research and related activities. In 2009-10 HEFCE will distribute over £8 billion to 130 higher education institutions and 124 further education colleges.

3.      Salix Finance is an independent, publicly funded company, set up in 2004 to accelerate public sector investment in energy efficiency technologies through ‘invest to save’ schemes. Salix has public funding from the Carbon Trust and is working across the public sector with local authorities, NHS foundation trusts, higher and further education institutions and central Government. It is a not for profit company limited by guarantee.

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