Energy Efficiency Upgrades Saves University Hundreds of Thousands

A post-graduate university in the UK County of Bedfordshire is set to save hundreds of thousands of pounds and significantly reduce its carbon footprint after investing in energy efficient technologies, including its very own solar farm.

Cranfield University is now on track to save £329,108 annually, decrease its greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its reliance on the national grid.

The projects were made possible due to over £1.6m of funding from Salix Finance - an independent, government-funded organisation which provides 100% interest-free loans to public sector organisations to facilitate energy efficiency improvements.

The loan was used to install a 1Megawatt solar farm at the university as well as replace existing fluorescent lighting with more efficient LED in 20 main buildings and 20 shared student houses across the campus.

The solar array will provide approximately 5% of the electricity required for Cranfield’s main campus and is predicted to save an estimated £200,00 a year alone, while the new LED lighting will reduce energy use by 636,000 KwH.

The technologies will contribute towards the university’s ambitious target of reducing its carbon emissions by 50% by 2020.

In total, Cranfield University is expected to save more than £7.7m over the lifetime of the technologies, as well as reduce its annual carbon footprint by 725 tonnes CO2e*.

Gareth Ellis, Energy & Environment Manager at Cranfield University said: “Without Salix’s help, we would not have been able to implement this ambitious scheme.

“This was a complex project with a number of planning issues because of the proximity to the village and the airport. As well as the invaluable financial help we received, Salix also provided us with technical support and general advice throughout, helping us to maintain the confidence to overcome such issues and other obstacles. Salix’s consistency of approach and our long-term relationship was also very helpful in gaining support for the project in the first place.

“Thanks to the project, we have made significant progress in reducing our reliance on the national grid and seen huge savings.”

*Calculated using emissions factors published by the UK government in 2016 for carbon.

Source: Salix Finance. Picture of Cranfield University AIRC building by Fusion2018 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Thursday 10th January 2019

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