#PlanetPartners: University awarded £3.4m for carbon-reducing initiatives
Release Date 24 February 2021
The University of Reading has been awarded over £3.4 million to deliver a range of carbon-reducing initiatives across its campuses.
Funding of £3.2 million is one of the first grants in the country to be awarded by Salix Finance as part of the new Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, a £1 billion grant scheme launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in October. The aim of the Scheme is to accelerate the decarbonisation of public sector buildings.
A further £119,000 has been awarded from Salix's complimentary Low Carbon Skills Fund for additional resource to support delivery of the main grant, plus £45,000 for a number of feasibility studies for future heat decarbonisation schemes.
Dan Fernbank, Energy & Sustainability Manager at the University of Reading, said: "This is a major win for us in terms of pushing forward with a tranche of new carbon reduction initiatives.
"Projects need to be implemented by September 2021 at the latest so we have focussed our energies on programmes that can be delivered in that timescale.
"We have an ambition to become one of the greenest universities in the world and the carbon savings these projects will achieve will help move us closer to that ambition."
The University's carbon-reducing projects include:
- Improved heating zoning and controls in two flagship buildings (URS and Greenlands Main House)
- A programme of laboratory and farm refrigeration/freezer upgrades with modern, energy efficient replacements
- A major LED lighting rollout throughout London Rd and Greenland campuses, and to multiple Whiteknights buildings
- A major expansion of solar panels on Whiteknights campus; more than trebling our current generation capacity
- Replacement of inefficient drying cabinets throughout our science labs
- Replacement of inefficient ventilation systems
- Replacement and re-sizing of numerous inefficient air conditioning units
- Improved sensors and controls to multiple heating and ventilation systems
- Preparatory works for future heat decarbonisation, including improved metering, and an electrical capacity upgrade for Greenlands
The combined projects are anticipated to save 816 tCO2 in their first year and £423,000 in energy costs.
The University of Reading has already made significant progress in reducing its carbon footprint in recent years, and is on course to surpass its target of a 45% carbon reduction by 2021.