The deadline is April 15 for applications for more than $1.9 million in Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) projects this semester.
Departments and units interested in submitting utility conservation work for consideration are encouraged to complete the application available on the RLF webpage; the RLF Committee will evaluate proposed projects 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 $500,000 from the Chevrolet Bonneville Environmental Foundation funding into the RLF. The amount was matched by an additional $250,000 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 $3.9 million.
Chevrolet retired an estimated 150,000 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 in the past several years 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, the RLF has allocated more than $2 million for energy-efficient lighting retrofits, including LED upgrades, and the installation of occupancy sensors.
F&S Engineer Specialist 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.”
The RLF is a recognized part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, in which 57 universities have committed more than $116 million 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.