St Andrews University has launched a multi-million-pound bid to slash its carbon footprint. by 950 tonnes a year .
Bosses say reducing the tally by 950 tonnes a year will save £650,000 in annual operating costs — money that can be ploughed into education and research.
The £3.75 million overhaul of energy consumption will include a new district heating network to supply heat and power to university buildings in the centre of St Andrews.
The plans also involve the installation of new energy efficient lighting and new solar power units at the sports centre.
Smart building management systems will also be installed, and air-handing unit fans and fume cupboards upgraded.
The project will be led by sustainable energy specialists Vital Energi, which was responsible for the university’s £25m biomass scheme at Eden Campus.
The work will result in improvements to 30 buildings. The properties selected have the highest energy use across the campus, equating to around 85% of the university’s annual spend.
St Andrews Quaestor Derek Watson said: “We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and increasing our energy efficiency wherever possible as we move towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral for our energy use.
“This ambitious project, delivered by our partners Vital Energi, will enable the university to significantly improve the energy efficiency of our infrastructure and systems and allow us to play our part in reducing carbon emissions and to save money to invest in world-class education and research in these difficult financial times.”
Scott Lutton, Vital Energi’s operations manager for Scotland, said the university’s approach to lowering carbon use was inspirational.
“They are clear in their ambition and have developed a long-term plan for becoming carbon neutral for energy and this is another significant step towards making that ambition a reality,” he said.
The project was procured through the Scottish Government’s Non Domestic Energy Efficiency (NDEE) Framework, which allows organisations to balance their low carbon ambitions with financial stability.