Campus Utility Conservation Project Ideas Wanted for $800K

Feb 09, 2017
in Revolving Loan Fund Support

February 9, 2017

CHAMPAIGN, IL – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign departments can actively participate in improving campus energy efficiency through the innovative Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). This semester, more than $800K will be available for utility conservation projects with short-term payback periods. 

Ideas like installing LEDs and occupancy sensors to reduce electrical consumption are examples of RLF projects that make facilities more energy-efficient. Interested individuals and groups are encouraged to submit project ideas by filling out an application at The forms are due Friday, March 10. The RLF Committee will evaluate proposals beginning in mid-April with project selection occurring this summer.

F&S engineer specialist Josh Whitson said, “The most important part of the RLF is the creativity of students, faculty, and staff to help take new energy conservation ideas and turn them into projects that create a significant impact.”

The Urbana campus has decreased energy usage per gross square foot (GSF) by 27.5% since fiscal year 2008 through investments in centrally-managed programs and occupant action. The RLF supports both aspects of these energy conservation efforts on campus. The RLF Committee allocated more than $1.2M in funding for nine projects at the university in 2016.


  • Energy Farm (Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment) – Biomass Boiler
  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts – Lighting Retrofit
  • Beef and Sheep Field Research Laboratory – Lighting Retrofit
  • EnterpriseWorks - Variable Air Volume Fume Hood Retrofit
  • Mechanical Engineering Building – Water Conservation
  • Transportation Building – Thermostatic Valves
  • Multiple Buildings - Economizer Upgrades
  • Multiple Buildings - Occupancy Sensors
  • Multiple Buildings - Thermostatic Valves

Established in 2011, the RLF is a financing source for utility conservation projects with a less than 10-year payback period. The cost avoidance from steam, electricity, and chilled or potable water is paid back annually based on initially calculated savings and then reallocated for future projects aimed at achieving Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) sustainability goals. To date, approximately $3M has been allocated from the RLF for energy conservation projects.

- more-

NOTES:  The RLF is a recognized part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge in which 62 universities committed more than $131M for energy conservation efforts:

More information on the RLF is available on the iCAP Portal:

Revolving loan fund news release PDF