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The Equipment Replacement Programme provides financial support for the replacement of old drying cabinets and ultra-low temperature freezers with new, energy efficient models.

Funding towards other equipment types can be applied for through the University’s Carbon Reduction Fund

Equipment Replacement Programme - The Deal

Form of Support

ULT (-80°C) Freezers

10 years or more in age.

Drying Cabinets

5 years or more in age.



Upto 25% of the cost of an approved new freezer, up to a maximum of £2,500 per unit. Upto 50% of the cost of an approved drying cabinet, up to a maximum of £2,000 per unit.



Upto 100% of the approved new freezer ‘in exchange’ for 2 units. Upto 100% of the approved new drying cabinet ‘in exchange’ for 2 units.

Equipment Replacement Programme - The Conditions

Equipment must be chosen from a pre-defined list of models that the Sustainability Team have identified as being energy efficient. Outgoing items must be disposed of appropriately and a waste note received in order for a claim to be successful.

For full terms and conditions, step-by-step process guides and required forms, please read the documents below before applying for funding. Please direct further questions to

Equipment Replacement Programme - Guidelines & Forms


ERP -  Ultra-low temperature freezers

Download the ERP Freezer Guide (pdf)


ERP – Drying Cabinets

Download the ERP Drying Cabinet Guide (pdf)

Equipment Funding Request form

Download the ERP Funding Request Form (excel)

Equipment Replacement Programme - The Rationale

Ultra-low temperature freezers and drying cabinets are in widespread use across the University estate to facilitate research.

A -80°C freezer typically consumes between 16 and 22 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day, which is roughly equivalent to two typical UK households. Each year of a -80°C freezer’s life results in around a 3% increase in its energy consumption due to loosening seals, refrigerant loss, degraded lubricants and mechanical fatigue. Consequently after around ten years of use, a -80°C freezer may consume over 30 kWh per day, equating to an electricity cost of well over £1,000 per year.

Replacing an old freezer with a new, energy efficient one, will reduce the emissions of a research group or department by around 2 tonnes CO2e per freezer per year. Put another way, a new energy efficient freezer will save its own weight in carbon four times over, each year, compared to the unit it replaces!

A study focussed on drying cabinets, undertaken in the Department of Chemistry, has found that a typical drying cabinet operating at 75°C consumes around 18 kWh per day.

Equipment Replacement Programme - The Achievements

Since the launch of the Equipment Replacement Programme in August 2016, over 200 new freezers and 15 new drying cabinets have received a total of over £650,000 from ECRP. Successful applications have come from over 25 different departments and institutes. Collectively, the reduced electricity usage of these replacements are saving over 400 tonnes of CO2e from being emitted each year.