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Light leasing scheme launched

Academies are being encouraged to investigate alternative ways of funding energy-efficiency upgrades

Posted by Dave Higgitt | March 11, 2015 | HVAC & lighting

In terms of cost reduction and return on investment, lighting upgrades are amongst the most attractive ways for schools looking to become more energy efficient. Such upgrades, however, were difficult to fund through the Education Funding Agency’s condition improvement fund (CIF). What’s more, applications for CIF have now closed and the EFA will not be running a second round for 2015-16.

This, though, need not be the end of the story. Academies are now being encouraged (as per EFA guidelines) to consider alternative options, such as operating leases. The combination of low interest rates and high energy bills means that alternative financial arrangements can deliver strong payback on new lighting. Energy-efficient upgrades, for example, can save up to 80 percent of a school’s total lighting costs.

Under a leasing scheme, a flexible operating lease can be used to finance energy-saving upgrades without the need for capital investment. Using this model, schools can arrange finance on a ‘pay as you save’ basis and, in most cases, the savings on electricity bills will outweigh the lease cost.

UK Energy Partners help schools organise funding for energy-efficiency upgrade programmes and offers off-balance-sheet leasing for energy-efficient lighting upgrades. The lease is a standard commercial lease, allowing schools to use products in return for a monthly amount. Assets remain ‘off balance sheet’ and there are no ongoing service costs.

Robert Little, project director for UK Energy Partners, explains: “In this way, we are able to provide you with an upgraded lighting system, together with a full parts and labour warranty – meaning that you will have no on-going service costs – and, in addition, we handle all elements of design and installation, at no cost nor risk to you.

“We will be happy to provide a detailed quote for the project, including a detailed energy savings calculation, together with an analysis of the monthly and annual cash benefit to you.”

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