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St Andrews praised for energy saving initiatives

The University of St Andrews has emerged as the leading public sector body in the UK in 2010/2011 for the value of projects designed to save energy and cut carbon emissions, according to Salix Finance, an offshoot of the Carbon Trust.

St Andrews has undertaken 111 green projects in total, committing over £1.9 million to a variety of initiatives. Over their lifetime, these schemes will save 7,700 tonnes of CO2.

Projects have included boiler replacements, the addition of cooling systems for the university data centre and the replacement of lights with new energy efficient technology.

Projects have ranged from small to large. At the Gateway Building on North Haugh, the University replaced floodlights with new LED lights, costing £8,000 but will save £1,400 and 6 tonnes of CO2 every year. In the Physics building, the University has installed a combined heat and power unit costing over £600,000, which will save over £200,000 and 800 tonnes CO2 per year.

Now the University has received a letter of commendation from Salix, citing its exemplary achievement and revealing St Andrews is one of the leading public sector bodies in the UK for green initiatives.

Salix Finance works with around 500 UK public sector bodies through a mixture of loans and grants. Salix Finance and the Scottish Government provided the university with a loan of £1,257,000 to which the University has added £406,000. This Salix fund is ring fenced for energy saving projects, and the utility cost reduction due to the energy saving measures is fed back into the fund, so the money is rotated and made available for future projects.

The Salix letter of commendation shows that the value of projects committed by St Andrews in 2010/2011 was the highest in the whole of the public sector in the UK, and that the carbon saving on projects commissioned by the Fife university is the third highest.

David Stutchfield, the university’s Energy Officer said:

“The cost of gas and electricity has tripled over the past five years, so this is a real risk for the institution. Our plan is first to reduce energy consumption in our buildings by installing more efficient boiler plant, lighting or simple roof void insulation. At the same time, we are working with staff and students to influence their behaviour in being more responsible for their energy consumption.

“Thirdly we are looking at new ways to generate heat and electricity from renewable resources, as part of our overall aim to become carbon neutral for all our energy consumption.

“The Salix fund has been transformational. It is such an effective system as the fund available is constantly revolving. Any financial savings achieved are put back into the fund to be used for further energy-saving projects.”


Issued by the University of St Andrews

Contact: Emma Shea, Communications Manager, on 01334 462 109 or email Emma.Shea@st-andrews.ac.uk

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