The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Farnham has been awarded £4.5 million in government funding to decarbonise heating across its Surrey campuses.

By using new technologies and increasing on-site power generation, the university aims to deliver more than a 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from energy consumption across a ten-year period and meet its commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2030. 

Professor Mark Ellul, chief operating officer at UCA, said: “Since 2007, our investment in energy efficiency and on-site renewables has halved our carbon emissions despite growing as a university. We are now building on this work to create a step-change in our efforts to reach net zero. We are committed to being one of the greenest universities in the UK and this funding is an endorsement of the work we have already undertaken to deliver greener campuses.”

Scott Keiller, UCA sustainability manager, said: “In the coming months we will be developing our plans, aiming to replace our gas-powered heating with ground source and air source heat pumps by spring 2025. We will also be significantly increasing our solar power generation to reduce our demand on grid electricity and adding sophisticated energy control systems and grid connected energy storage.”

The project will be funded by the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which was initiated by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and is delivered by Salix Finance. The university is committing a similar amount of funding.

Ian Rodger, Salix Finance director of programmes, said: “Our teams are looking forward to being part of the university’s journey to reach its net zero targets.”