$1.9M Available for Campus Utility Conservation Projects from the Revolving Loan Fund
CHAMPAIGN, IL – More than $1.9M will be available for campus projects through the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) this semester. Departments and units interested in submitting utility conservation work for consideration are encouraged to download and complete the RLF application available at: http://go.fs.illinois.edu/rlf. The RLF Committee will evaluate proposals beginning in mid-April with project selection occurring this summer.
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) collaborated with Facilities & Services (F&S) to allocate $500K from Chevrolet Bonneville Environmental Foundation funding into the RLF. The amount was matched by an additional $250K from the Office of the Chancellor with the goal of further reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on campus and achieving targets outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP).
Through the carbon credit agreement with Chevrolet, acquisition of grant funding, and campus commitments the RLF has grown to a record $3.9M.
Engineer specialist for F&S Josh Whitson said, “Through both centrally-funded programs and user-based initiatives there is a proven track record of significant cost avoidance and energy reduction at the university. The RLF builds on these successful conservation efforts.”
Chevrolet retired an estimated 150K metric tons of carbon credits from the university on behalf of the environment in May 2014. The carbon credits were earned through the work of the campus to reduce GHG.
“By increasing the size of the RLF, our campus has reinforced its commitment to conserving energy and resources — a commitment that will allow the excellent work done by F&S to continue and increase,” said Ben McCall, associate director for campus sustainability at iSEE. “Decreasing our carbon footprint through this cost-effective approach will help Illinois remain a leader among green campuses.”
The RLF was established in 2011 as a financing source for utility conservation projects with a less than 10-year payback period. The savings from steam, electricity, and chilled or potable water costs are paid back annually, based on initially calculated savings.
To date, more than $2M has been allocated from the RLF for energy-efficient lighting retrofits, including LED upgrades, and the installation of occupancy sensors.
BILLION DOLLAR GREEN CHALLENGE:
The RLF is a recognized part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge where 57 universities have committed more than $116M for energy conservation efforts: http://greenbillion.org/. The Challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of $1 Billion in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements.
More information on the RLF is available on the iCAP Portal: http://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project/revolving-loan-fund
RLF Project Application