Boris launches £100M energy efficiency fund

London mayor, Boris Johnson has unveiled a £100M energy efficiency fund to help hundreds of public building across the capital get a green makeover.

The London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF), which was announced today (2 September) by the mayor, is part of Mr Johnson’s overall plan to upgrade London buildings which are responsible for 80% of the capital’s carbon emissions by making them more energy efficient.

As part of the funding programme, public buildings such as schools, libraries and hospitals will be able to apply for flexible finance to pay for energy saving measures such as efficient lighting systems, ventilation and boiler upgrades, smart meters and solar panels.

The mayor has agreed to provide LEEF with a £50M contribution from the London Green Fund, which is managed by the European Investment Bank and combines European Regional Development Funds, public and private finance to invest in environmental infrastructure. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will also contribute £50M to the fund.

Meanwhile, LEEF will be led by social and economic management firm Amber Infrastructure, while a team of experts will be available to help guide public buildings through retrofitting programmes.

Amber’s programme director, Leo Bedford, said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside our consortium partners on a project that will be pivotal for London’s 2020 carbon emissions programme.”

It is anticipated that many of the projects will be funded through the mayor’s existing RE:FIT programme model, which was set up to help public bodies in London cut their carbon emissions.

Mr Johnson said this scheme has already saved 42 public building £1M a year in energy bills, including the Greater London Authority Group and Transport for London, and has improved energy efficiency by around 40%.

Mr Johnson, said: “Retrofitting London is a priority as not only will it cut carbon and energy costs, but also inject billions of pounds into the city’s economy, and create tens of thousands of jobs.

“This multi-million pound fund will assist in improving the efficiency of the capital’s public buildings. It is a great example of the type of innovative thinking that will stimulate green economic growth for the capital while also saving taxpayers’ money on energy bills.”

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the mayor launched a £70M waste fund under the same scheme and collectively these funds are expected to issue hundreds of millions of pounds of investment for low carbon projects.

Carys Matthews

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