Universities For The Future: Decarbonising Scotland

In partnership with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Salix Finance have launched the Universities for the Future programme to boost investment in energy efficiency across Scotland’s higher education institutions, provide accessible support and finance for carbon reduction throughout the sector and build capacity for funding in additional years, benefiting both students and staff.

The Scottish Government has allocated up to £55m towards the SFC's 2019-20 Financial Transactions programme. Aimed at 'spend-to-save' projects, the programme aims to boost energy efficiency investment across Scotland's Higher Educatation Institutions, improving the student experience, showing collaboration with other public sector bodies and providing accessible support and finance for carbon reduction projects across the sector. 

Accessible to all higher education institutions in Scotland, the carbon reduction element of the programme will be allocated over the next two financial years by Salix on behalf of SC and will support a wide range of projects, including building fabric improvements and district heating. 

Some examples of project themes can be found below:

  • Reduction to backlog maintenance through energy efficiency projects
  • Reduction of carbon emissions from laboratories
  • Reduction of carbon emissions using modern, low energy data centres
  • Site wide approach to low energy lighting
  • Improvements to the student union buildings
  • Improvements to the student experience e.g. lecture theatres, libraries
  • Better building controls to use low levels of heating and cooling
  • Collaboration between public sector bodies
  • Student engagement in support of projects

Up to £19m is available in 2019/20, and universities are encouraged to submit an application which includes projects for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.

Payback and Carbon Criteria

Project criteria are up to a 10-year payback at a cost of £400 per tonne of CO2 over the lifetime of the project.

For gas/oil saving projects* the criteria are up to a 15-year payback at a cost of £600 per tonne of CO2 over the lifetime of the project.

*This considers upgrades that support the decarbonisation of heating, such as building fabric improvements and district heating.

There is no maximum loan value for applications.

There is a preference that univisersities structure their applications as one per customer,but include all the projects they wish to apply to be considered.

Universities are encouraged to show a firm commitment and willingness to tackle decarbonisation and undertake challenging projects which reduce the carbon footprint.

Most projects will be assessed as repaying within the 10 to 15 years but if projects cannot repay within the 10 or 15 years but there is evidence of tackling the challenging decarbonisation agenda, extending the repayment period will be considered. Please contact Salix to discuss these issues during the preparation of your application.

Expressions of interest will be accepted from the beginning of June, with more information and tools available soon.

Timeline

  • May-June 2019: Expressions of interest
  • June- October 2019: Development of proposals
  • November 2019: Shortlist proposals
  • December 2019: SFC finalise programme value
  • January 2020: Institutions finalise proposals
  • March 2020: SFC issues loan offers

Best practice and case study examples for a range of energy efficiency projects implemented by public sector organisations across the UK can be found on the free Knowledge Share area.

Please continue to check this page for further updates on the Universities for the Future programme.

If you have any questions please get in touch with the Scotland team on 020 3102 6900, or contact Jennifer Roberts, Scotland Programme Manager [email protected]