Salix is offering £5 million worth of interest-free loans for higher education colleges to go LED.
Colleges all over the country can apply for a loan which they don't have to repay until they start saving money. The project is called Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).
Salix estimates that its funding programme for colleges will help to achieve savings of over £81 million and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 527,873.
Salix has been funding green projects for years to a total of 430 lighting projects costing over £8 million. Six years ago Yorkshire Coast College had a lighting upgrade funded by Salix to install T5 converters for more energy efficient flourescent tubes. This paid for itself in 3 years. The college has so far saved £68,203 and 612 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Facilities co-ordinator at the college, Geoff Adams, said: "We had made saving energy on-site a priority, especially since the introduction of legislation like the requirement for Display Energy Certificate. But the reality was, we had very limited budget to spend on any upgrades. [With funding from Salix] we upgraded 95% of our lights and its only now that we are starting to see a few of them failing - and I don't mean many, I'm talking less than 100. It was definitely a good move."
There has been more recent college conversions such as the Wakefield College who used an interest-free loan of £360,000 to upgrade the lighting to LED. Energy Officer at the College, Shane O'Donnell, said: "The Salix application was straightforward and I found the team very helpful." The college now saves £90,000 a year.
Stafford College used a Salix loan of £320,000 to install new lighting and heating. Project Manager of the college, Pat Eagle, said: "Our savings from reduced use of energy are very impressive, we have lifetime savings of over £1 million. It's a fantastic opportunity for the public sector to lead the way in energy conservation." The college saves £81,000 a year and has reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 394 tonnes.
The Banbury and Bicester college had LED panels installed which has halved their energy costs. Facilities Manager, Bridget Richardson, said: "We have reduced the burden on the maintenance team as well as benefitted from lower energy bills."
The £5 million will be awarded in February 2015 and any college that receives most of its income from the public sector can apply. The application deadline is Friday the 30th of January.