Edinburgh and Warwick universities are set to save thousands of pounds annually after winning government support for an innovative community heating scheme, writes Olga Wojtas.
The universities are installing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) network, a technology that helps to reduce carbon levels by simultaneously generating heat and power, usually electricity, in a single process. The two universities are among eight organisations to win a total of £3.3 million from the government's community energy programme.
Eoin Lees, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, which manages the scheme along with the Carbon Trust, said: "It is very encouraging to see such a positive response to this first funding round, particularly from universities. There is a growing realisation of the environmental and economic benefits available for universities through community heating."
Mr Lees said the two universities expected to save more than £300,000 between them on their fuel bills. And more than 4,000 students will have CHP heating and power in their study bedrooms.
Edinburgh will update its heating network to include a CHP system for its main hall of residence.
Warwick's existing heat network operates mainly in academic buildings, with the halls of residence using individual gas-fired boilers, but both sets of buildings will now be linked and supplied through CHP.
Rodney Perry, Warwick's university service engineer, said: "As well as saving fuel costs, it will also mean a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions."
A new bidding round for capital funding has just opened, with a closing date of October 31.
For programme or application information, contact the community energy team on 0870 850 6085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org