George Osborne’s announcement in the 2015 Spending Review (25th Nov) that sixth form colleges will be able to convert to Academy status has been welcomed across the education sector. This change in funding status gives colleges greater financial control and flexibility – and will also ensure  exemption from paying VAT on purchases.

However, Energys Group, specialists in energy efficiency retrofit solutions for schools and colleges, is urging sixth form colleges to take advantage of Salix Finance funding before the switch to Academy status is made.

“Once sixth form colleges convert to Academy status, they will no longer be able to take advantage of the Salix College Energy Fund,” says Energys Managing Director Kevin Cox.

“Educational establishments which have taken advantage of Academy status will find themselves with a greater challenge if they decide to invest in energy measures. For Academies, such projects are typically either self-funded, or an application must be made for CIF Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) funding. CIF is notoriously complex to apply for and it is much more difficult to ‘get hold of’ the money,” explains Mr Cox.

Energys Group’s message to Principals and Estate Managers at sixth form colleges is simple: Act now to take advantage of their current LEA-funded status and apply for Salix Finance for energy projects. Salix is often the simplest, fastest way to finance valuable energy-efficiency improvements for their future.

Energys Group is able to provide assistance with Salix funding applications. Plus, its retrofit technologies, including LED and T5 lighting upgrades and boiler controls, have been installed in 1000’s of schools, colleges and academies. The company has helped the education sector to achieve very significant energy savings – coupled with quick paybacks and world-class technology.

Sixth Form colleges that are considering energy efficiency upgrades can contact the Energys Group team for advice and guidance on financing routes and eligibility.

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