This report presents findings from the first phase of the evaluation of the Public Sector Energy Efficiency Loan scheme, delivered by Salix Finance Ltd. The scheme provides interest free loans to public sector bodies to support the installation of energy efficiency measures, to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills, contributing to meeting targets outlined in the Clean Growth Strategy (2017). Winning Moves was commissioned to carry out an evaluation of the scheme for BEIS. The evaluation was theory-based, using a theory of change to inform the design and focus of the evaluation and principally presents findings from qualitative in-depth interviews with scheme managers, scheme participants and non-participants, and early findings from piloting an approach to assessing the scheme’s impact.
Most scheme participants thought they had achieved energy and cost savings that were broadly in line with that estimated by the scheme administrators at the time they took out the loans. Outside of energy and costs savings, a range of other ‘co-benefits’ (outcomes beyond those intended by the scheme) were identified by participants. Participants in the scheme reported that scheme activities helped build greater confidence and ambition to ‘do more’ over time. The majority of participants believed that whilst some projects may have happened in the absence of the scheme, they would not have done so at the same pace and scale.
The evaluation considered potential barriers to participation. Barring some finance-related constraints, most barriers were those related to undertaking energy efficiency projects (as opposed to scheme participation barriers), many of which are not within the control of the scheme. This indicates that other approaches need to be considered to remove these barriers and deliver greater scheme participation in the future. Overall, the findings from the evaluation show that the model of financial support for energy efficiency measures was positive, and suggests some refinements to the model for future delivery.
The full report can be found here.