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The Revolving Green Fund helped the University of Brighton achieve its ambitious target of reducing CO2 emissions by improving lighting on campus.

The Revolving Green Fund (RGF) provides recoverable grants to help higher education institutions (HEIs) in England reduce carbon emissions and save money. Since 2008 there have been three rounds of the Fund. The next round will be run in partnership with Salix Finance a company which specialises in providing interest free loans to public sector organisations for energy efficiency.

In this round of the RGF, higher education institutions can seek funding to implement both small and large scale carbon saving projects and, for the first time, water reduction projects. Institutions can seek funding for small scale projects between £50,000 and £750,000 and around £2 million for large scale projects.

HEFCE Chief Executive, Madeleine Atkins said,

‘The fund is a very good and effective way to help universities improve their sustainability and achieve financial savings. The review has clearly demonstrated the scheme’s value and I’m happy to announce this next round of funding’.

Annie Shepperd, Salix Chief Executive, said:

‘Salix Finance is delighted to be co-financing this new offer to universities with HEFCE. We know that this will stimulate innovation and leading edge projects in energy efficiency and we look forward to supporting our universities with their projects. Every project will be a contribution to the UK Carbon Plan, reducing our carbon emissions is worthwhile and urgent’.

Review of RGF rounds one to three

The review carried out by Blue Alumni Management Consultants confirms that HEFCE investment in carbon reduction is effective and achieving significant carbon and financial savings.

The RGF has raised the profile of CO2 reduction with senior management teams in universities, levered £32 million so far  from their own and partner resources, and enabled carbon reduction projects that otherwise may not have gone ahead.

Over the first three rounds of the RGF, we have allocated £61 million to 130 universities, funding 117 small-scale programmes and 17 large projects.

The report provides an understanding of the outputs from all RGF rounds and includes six case studies illustrating what has been achieved so far. The case studies cover the following projects:

  • Aston University: a university wide strategy for energy efficiency and carbon reduction
  • University of Brighton: improved lighting to achieve energy savings
  • University of  Chester: hydro-electric power plant on the River Dee
  • University of Derby: lighting technology to improve the student environment and provide carbon savings
  • University of Exeter: transformation of a 1960’s building
  • University of Leicester: voltage optimisation technology in halls of residence.

Notes

Details of how to apply for funding are available on the HEFCE and Salix websites. The deadline for applications is 15 October 2014. Successful projects will be announced in January 2015.