A £500 million energy fund has been launched in London to help hospitals, universities and small businesses cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2025.

Following the success of the London energy efficiency fund (LEEF) the mayor’s energy efficiency fund (MEEF) will provide finance to fund new low-carbon technology or upgrade existing infrastructure, with an investment period of up to 20 years.

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Tooting is set to save £1 million a year on energy bills, reducing more than 6,000 tonnes in carbon emissions, thanks to the LEEF scheme.

The MEEF is the UK’s largest-ever dedicated investment fund for urban energy efficiency measures, the mayor said.

The announcement, made today (9 July), follows a study by the Green Finance Taskforce which revealed that many public-sector organisations are unable to install energy-efficient measures due to a lack of necessary finance.

In response to the announcement, Gab Barbaro, managing director at British Gas Business, said: “Improving the energy efficiency and resilience of public buildings and business premises in London will bring significant benefits for  all – reduced costs, lower carbon emissions and increased productivity. But we know that securing funding and boardroom buy-in can be significant challenges.

“The UK’s energy system is changing to become more decentralised, digitised and decarbonised.

“We all have a part to play in ensuring our buildings are fit for the future, and funds like this are crucial in opening-up opportunities for proactive investment.”

Measures that can be funded under the scheme include battery storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, decentralised energy, small-scale renewables, energy efficiency, and low-carbon data centres.

Hospitals, museums, social housing and universities are among the public buildings set to benefit from the fund, which is provided through the European regional development fund (ERDF) and Amber Infrastructure Group.

Santander and other commercial funders will provide equity, subordinated and senior debt.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It is a great example of how the public and private sectors can come together to create millions of pounds of investment for low-carbon projects and help fast track London towards our goal of becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050.”

Joanne Patrick, MEEF director at Amber Infrastructure Group, added: “MEEF seeks to address market failure in London’s low-carbon sector by providing flexible and competitive finance to enable, accelerate or enhance viable green infrastructure across London’s boroughs.

“We have a proven track record of helping London get greener, having already mobilised over £350 million in low-carbon projects to reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 tonnes – equivalent to taking 32,000 cars off the road.”

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