BRE's Andrew Thorne presenting the Revolving Green Fund

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Information about BRE's Andrew Thorne presenting the Revolving Green Fund

Published on March 5, 2014

Author: BREGroup



The Revolving Green Fund (RGF) provides finance to Higher Education Institutions to help save energy and reduce emissions. Case studies include Universities of Bradford, Lancaster, Chichester, Leicester as well as Harper-Adams and Oxford Brookes University

BRE: The Revolving Green Fund – Case Studies Andrew Thorne Building Futures Group 5th March 2014 Part of the BRE Trust

Contents – About the Revolving Green Fund (RGF) – Carbon emissions in the HE sector – Overview of projects – Case studies

About the scheme

What is the Revolving Green Fund (RGF)? – Initiated by partnership between HEFCE and Salix Finance Ltd – To help HEIs in England reduce their greenhouse gas emissions – Institutions repay funds through savings they make – Universities typically make 25% contribution – £40 million has been made available between 2010 to 2013 in recoverable grants

Purpose – To provide upfront capital costs that will increase the rate of implementation of projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular carbon dioxide – To result in long-term cost savings from reduced energy consumption – To promote the sector’s role in leading the way to reduced greenhouse gas emissions through transformational projects

Two Strands of Funding – Transformational one-off projects which significantly reduce carbon emissions – Incremental improvement through implementation of numerous small scale projects (ISP)

Amount of Funding Round Funding Universities Projects Payback Period 30 small 1 £20M 30 < 5 years 3 large 24 small 2 £10.8M 27 < 5 years 4 large 37 small 3 £11.5M 4.63 years 10 large < 5 years 43

RGF ISP Projects Implemented by October 2009 Source: Evaluation of the Revolving Green Fund: a report to HEFCE, July 2010

RGF – Third Round

RGF – Third Round

Transformational Projects – Round 1 • University of East Anglia - energy centre at Norwich campus to be the first plant in England to produce heat and power from biomass. • Harper-Adams University - anaerobic digestion using farm and food waste to generate renewable power. • University of Lancaster – large scale wind turbine to reduce reliance on imported electricity.

Transformational Projects – Round 2 – University of Bradford - transform a library with a DEC 'E' rating an 'A' rating at a lower cost than new build. – University of Derby - Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lighting throughout the campus with automatic controls – University of Exeter – to retrofit 12 energy efficient technologies to a 1960s building to improve its energy rating. – Plymouth University – integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Building Energy Management System (BEMS) to control all energy-consuming devices and systems.

Getting Involved – How participating organisations heard about the scheme: – 73% had heard through informal discussions with sector colleagues. – ~50% through existing networks (e.g. EAUC/AUDE).

Carbon Emissions in the HE Sector

The Facts – ~140 Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in England – Total emissions ~2,000,000 tonnes CO2 p.a. – Range per HEI: 500 – 90,000 tonnes CO2 p.a. (ratio of 180:1) – Higher Education carbon reduction targets in line with national policy – 34% by 2020 (against 1990 levels) – 80% by 2050 – Diverse sector with range of sites, buildings, priorities, histories, subject mix, infrastructure, research & development plans…

Recent Performance – HEFCE funding linked to carbon management plans – Substantial good practice in tackling carbon emissions – Monitored via Estates Management Statistics which indicate that some institutions are significantly reducing the environmental impact of their operations. – Main barrier is developing business cases against rising energy costs and uncertainty about future utility consumption related legislation

The Case Study Projects

University of Bradford – Transformational project – RGF Round 2 – Refurbishment of 1970s library building – £1,700,000 – £100,000 per annum energy savings – 834 tCO2 saved per year – Payback <5 years

University of Lancaster – Transformational project – RGF Round 1 – 2.35MW Wind Turbine – £2,400,000 – £700,000 per annum savings – 3,900 tCO2 saved per year – Payback <3.5 years

Harper-Adams University – Transformational project – RGF Round 1 – 400kW Anaerobic Digester – £3,600,000 – £209,678 per annum savings – 1,902 tCO2 saved per year – Payback – 6.1 years

University of Chichester – ISP project – RGF Round 3 – LED Lighting and new controls – £500,000 – >400 tCO2 saved per year (predicted)

University of Leicester – ISP project – RGF Round 1 – BMS upgrade and heat recovery, voltage optimisation and boiler decentralisation and control improvements – £1,000,000

Oxford Brookes University – ISP project – RGF Round 1 – LED lighting, Vending Miser controls, data centre upgrade and PC power management – £500,000 – £77,800 per annum savings – 203.5 tCO2 saved per year

Lessons learnt - the RGF process – Staff resource needed to drive application process – Projects need to lead the funding application process – Availability of HEFCE funding is ‘well-timed’ – many HEIs had already started work on developing their own proposals – Difficulty disseminating information – feeling that site visits are the best means of disseminating good practice

Lessons learnt - the projects – Many still in progress – long time spans between agreeing funding and understanding performance – Generally performance appears to be as expected, but teething problems with the more innovative projects – High levels of potential replication – both within the HE sector and beyond

More information Follow the sustainable development link at… or email:

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