Maiden deal for GIB-backed Equitix fund

The UK fund manager is mobilising £10m to replace inefficient UK heating systems with biomass boilers.

Energy Saving Investments (ESI), an Equitix-managed fund in which the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is a cornerstone investor, has announced its first deal.

ESI will spend £4.9 million (€5.7 million; $7.4 million) to help replace “inefficient heating systems [across the UK], in both public and private community facilities,” with biomass boilers. The Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF), another of the fund manager's green vehicles, will round out the investment with a further £5.1 million, bringing the total capital spent to £10 million. 

That £10 million cheque could fund some 60 different projects, including replacements in care homes, leisure centres, schools and other local authority buildings, in addition to commercial facilities. Equitix said the switch to biomass boilers could save customers up to 30 percent of their energy bills.

Last year, the GIB awarded Equitix a £50 million mandate to invest in low carbon infrastructure projects requiring less than £30 million of funding. As part of the mandate, Equtix has to find matching private sector investment for the GIB-funded deals. That's partly why the UK fund manager established the energy efficiency-dedicated EEF, to serve as a co-investor alongside ESI.

The GIB opened for business in November last year with £3 billion of government money designed to mobilise private capital and help develop a green economy. Since then, it has committed capital to projects in offshore wind, biomass and waste management.