Recommended Guidelines for a Sustainable Student Green Energy Fund

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Recommended Guidelines for a Sustainable Student Green Energy Fund
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Journal of Undergraduate Research
Bird, Stefan
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Gainesville, Fla.
University of Florida
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The University of Florida’s second highest expense behind personnel is its operational costs from the energy required to run its buildings. Literature and feedback from key stakeholders reveal opportunities to reduce conventional energy consumption and improve the bottom line through energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. A well-designed Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) could contribute to financing these projects. Thus, the purpose of this study was to research how to design a SGEF and a framework for prioritizing what types of projects should be funded at the University of Florida. Literature research was conducted on the energy consumption trends at the University of Florida, applicable energy-efficiency projects, and business models. Feedback from key stakeholders throughout the university was gathered through interviews. After conducting this research, this study suggests structuring the SGEF through a revolving loan fund and investing in behavioral, lighting retrofit, and mechanical system projects.

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Recommended Guidelines for a Sustainable Student Green

Energy Fund

Stefan Bird

College of Design, Construction, and Planning, University of Florida

The University of Florida's second highest expense behind personnel is its operational costs from the energy required to run its
buildings. Literature and feedback from key stakeholders reveal opportunities to reduce conventional energy consumption and
improve the bottom line through energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. A well-designed Student Green Energy Fund
(SGEF) could contribute to financing these projects. Thus, the purpose of this study was to research how to design a SGEF and a
framework for prioritizing what types of projects should be funded at the University of Florida. Literature research was conducted on
the energy consumption trends at the University of Florida, applicable energy-efficiency projects, and business models. Feedback
from key stakeholders throughout the university was gathered through interviews. After conducting this research, this study suggests
structuring the SGEF through a revolving loan fund and investing in behavioral, lighting retrofit, and mechanical system projects.


The Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) is a Florida
student-led initiative that began in fall 2007. Formerly
known as the Renewable Energy Fee (REF), the REF was
renamed the SGEF in spring 2010 to better reflect the
evolution and purpose of the student campaign. For the
purpose of this paper, REF will refer to the actual fee used
to create a SGEF. In order for individual campuses to
implement a REF, language in the Florida Legislature must
be adjusted, then the fee amount must be approved in a
binding student referendum, and finally the REF's
conditions must be approved by the university's Board of
Trustees. The REF would place a small per credit hour fee
on students ranging from $0.25 to $1.00. The REF would
generate $300,000 to $1.2 million annually in order to
finance projects that reduce overall campus energy
consumption at the university. Subsequently, a joint
student/faculty SGEF Committee would be formed to
establish a business model and constitution in order to
fairly award applicants bidding for projects. The REF
would sunset every three years so that every four-year
student would have an opportunity to vote on if the REF
will be retained (The Florida Senate, 2010, SB0778).
The REF has enjoyed a significant amount of enthusiasm
and support since its creation in fall 2006 at the University
of Florida. Through the current efforts of students and
organizations from across the state university system, the
REF is an initiative that could take effect as early as spring
2011 (S. Mortellaro, personal communication, January 15,
The main campus uses roughly 75 Mega-watts of power
which equates to expending approximately $38 million
annually on electricity alone. Operational and construction
budgeting comes from revenue generated by tuition and
state appropriations ("Energy," 2010). Figure 1 shows the
building space at the University of Florida:

sq ft, 26%

sq ft, 5%

- 21,000,000
sq ft, 69%

* University
of Florida

* Education
& General
* Historical

Figure 1: Building space in square feet

Education and General (E&G) provides funding for the
main campus. According to Jeff Chorlog, an Associate
Director at Physical Plant (PPD), the "Operations and
Maintenance" portion of E&G funding allocation is based
on an inflexible equation formulated in the 1980s that
provides a fixed amount of money based on gross square
feet for a building to cover the utilities and maintenance.
This budget structure was created prior to UF becoming a
research hub and as a result many buildings have higher
energy costs than is allocated through E&G. For example,
research facilities and classrooms of comparable gross
square feet would receive the same funding despite
drastically different energy requirements (J. Chorlog,
personal communication, November 3, 2009).
PPD's Energy Department has developed a network of
contacts throughout campus to help in lowering energy
consumption. The Energy Department's responsibilities
include monitoring campus energy consumption,
identifying ways to lower energy consumption, and
incorporating new energy efficient technologies at UF
("Energy," 2010). The Operations and Maintenance

University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 I Spring 2011


funding has been inadequate since Fiscal Year 2001
because it does not account for inflation, rising energy
costs, and different building uses. Recently, measures such
as improving controls, occupancy driven lights in
auditoriums, air handler replacement, and chilled water
loop optimization have been constructed. Capital
improvements that still need to be made but do not have
necessarily high return on investments have lacked funding
due to the emphasis on energy efficiency improvements (J.
Chorlog, personal communication, November 3, 2009).


To determine the potential projects and business models
that a Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) Committee
should consider, this study relied on a comprehensive
literature review. To determine what projects and business
models would be most applicable to the University of
Florida, key stakeholders were interviewed on a variety of
questions to stimulate discussion. The interviewees made
up a broad range of employees at the University of Florida
including the Vice President of Business Affairs, the Chief
Financial Officer, the Director of Housing, the Director of
the Office of Sustainability, the Associate Directors at
PPD, and the Energy Manager at PPD. At the end of each
interview, notes taken from the discussion were reviewed
by interviewees to verify their clarity.
As previously discussed, inefficient building systems
have contributed significantly to University of Florida's
large utility expenses. As we move into a new era of
energy shortages and escalating prices, curbing energy
consumption is imperative to reduce financial
vulnerability. Norb Dunkel, the Director of Housing, said
that a budget crisis recently occurred due to a sharp
increase in utility prices. The unpredictable increase in
energy prices caused the Housing Department to raise rent
prices mid year. Dunkel explained that in a tight-annual
budgetary system, failing to predict the prices of energy six
to seven months in the future can cause a budget crisis. As
a subsidiary of the university, the Housing Department has
the authority to raise rent if needed. However, at the main
campus, sudden increases in energy costs cause the
administration to scramble to find funds to pay deficits (N.
Dunkel, personal communication, December 8, 2009).
Chief Financial Officer Matt Fajack agreed that reducing
energy consumption will minimize the future risks of
volatile energy markets (M. Fajack, personal
communication, November 20, 2009).
The need to curb energy consumption can be funded
through an REF, which would allow the SGEF to
contribute significantly in reducing operational expenses.
This paper focuses on gathering literature research on
energy-efficiency projects and business models in order to
successfully recommend the implementation of a SGEF.
This study could be used by a future SGEF Committee as
feedback for guidelines on how to set up a SGEF and what

types of projects should be awarded in order to secure a
long-term source for reducing energy consumption at the
University of Florida.

Literature Review

Energy Efficiency. Over the last thirty years, institutions
of higher education have initiated aggressive energy-
conservation programs that help them meet annual utility
budgets and plan for a financially-stable future. There are a
wide range of energy efficiency initiatives, but this study
will focus on three areas that have the best return on
investment: behavioral changes, lighting improvements,
and mechanical system improvements.
Universities have seen many benefits from implementing
effective sustainability programs, including improvement
in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations,
recruiting faculty and students, and the bottom line.
Research shows that prospective students, faculty, and staff
place a significant weight on schools with green initiatives
and strong records of environmental compliance (Perry,
2004). At St. John's University, students volunteering as
sustainability coordinators perform surveys on building
heating and cooling difficulties, provide maintenance of
utility bill tracking spreadsheets, monitor the campus light
usage and open windows in buildings, make
presentations to student groups, and develop new ideas
for conservation projects, which contributes to a more
effective campus wide effort (Pellow & Anand, 2009).
Campuses should also have energy-conscious
information technology departments. They should verify
that all computers are switched off at night and power
management features are utilized. Life-cycle considerations
should be made when purchasing computers and strive for
Energy Star compliant computer products (Simpson, 2003,
p. 154).
While education of students and faculty who use the
buildings is important, tracing the energy back to facilities
managers will reveal the areas where the biggest savings
can be made (Simpson, 2003, p. 153). The creation of a
facilities energy committee can provide a platform for open
communication on conservation efforts. A conservation
employee who has a high-level of authority should chair
the committee in order to make it clear to facilities staff
that energy conservation is a priority. Walter Simpson
(2003) recommends that mid- to large-size campuses have
full-time energy officers to supervise energy management
system operations, heating and cooling plant operation, or
energy purchasing (p. 151). The energy officer can develop
large and small energy conservation projects, coordinate
awareness efforts, and provide leadership to the energy
program. Campus planners and administrators must
empower facilities staff to do their jobs. For instance,
allowing operators to experiment with the highest and
coolest comfort temperature settings in different seasons at
the risk of a few complaints will maximize the

University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 | Spring 2011


effectiveness of conservation efforts (Simpson, 2003, p.
In a review of Harvard University's Resource
Conservation Incentive Program after its first five years,
researchers found the $1.5 million revolving loan fund had
yielded a 34% return on conservation investments (Dilwali
& Levy, 1999). However, the researchers were able to
identify a number of limitations that risked the
effectiveness of the program, including a rapid decline in
the number of projects implemented after the first year and
a lack of information about other energy-efficiency
projects beyond the ones already funded (Dilwali & Levy,
1999). There was an average payback of one year in eight
project loans focusing on behavior modification. The
behavior loans amounted to the third highest total annual
utility savings from this period despite representing less
than 5% of the projects during that time period (Green
Campus Loan Fund Report, 2009).
Lighting retrofits are often seen as the "low-hanging
fruit" of energy-efficient initiatives because they have "an
attractive payback, especially on campuses with lots of
incandescent bulbs and older-style fluorescent lighting,"
according to Simpson (2003, p. 154). Similar to the
University of Florida, Utica College also has an energy-
intensive burden of a large amount of historical building
space. As a result, administrators plan to replace the
building's outdated lights, a project that could produce
paybacks of four to five years (Carlson, 2009).
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)
highlighted operation and maintenance (O&M)
opportunities to make existing mechanical systems operate
"more efficiently and effectively, thus lowering overall
cooling costs" (2006, p. 1). Other initiatives include

* cleaning and replacing air filters
* inspecting and cleaning evaporator and condenser
* fixing leaks in cabinet and supply ducts
* resetting condenser water temperatures
* staging multi-chiller operation to improve part-
load performance
* resetting chilled water temperature
* improving the water treatment in cooling towers

* cleaning the evaporator and condenser tubes to
avoid build up
* cleaning fan blades, lubricating bearings, and
adjusting belts
* commissioning ventilating systems through tcslin!.
adjusting, and balancing (TAB)
* ensuring control valves operate correctly
* optimizing multiple pump controls to reduce
pumping operating costs (FEMP, 2006, p. 3-6).

Business Model. One of the best solutions for entities
that have limited resources but still need access to fund
projects is a revolving loan fund (RLF), according to Sam
(2009). Booth discussed how public entities can set up
RLFs in order to provide a source where loans can be made
and repaid. Entities would apply for loans on energy-
efficient projects that can show their ability to repay loans
and interest through estimated operational savings. Thus,
the RLF becomes a sustainable "revolving" financial
model where additional loans can be made for future
investments due to the repaid loans. Booth (2009) said
interest and fees by the RLF borrowers can be used to
support the administration of the fund, which provides
security for the fund's principle.
Limitations on the effectiveness of a RLF can be seen in
the fund's organizational authority, constitution, and
implementation. Some solutions to potential problems are

* providing clear, public authority from upper
* avoiding depleting the principal fund by not
approving multiple long-term loans at once
* accurately describing what improvements
contribute to estimated energy savings
* assessing actual against estimated energy savings
to prevent disputes
* providing information on types of energy-efficient
projects to borrowers (Booth, 2009).

Booth (2009) outlines recommendations to initially
implement an RLF, found in Table 1.

University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 1 Spring 2011


Table 1: Revolving Loan Fund Outline and Considerations

Basics of Recommendation

Establish purpose and goal.

Further Considerations

Clearly define and state.

Determine the requirements for borrowers.

Set loan terms.

Reporting and documentation
Insurance and collateral

Maximum length
Maximum and minimum loan amounts
% of project funding that SGEG can be used for
Administrative fees
Interest rates
Repayment of loan
Default on payment procedure

Determine which department is the RLF administer. Physical
Set up body to review loan applications. Are com
Determine administrative and staffing duties. Estimate
Staff nee
Who wil
Could a

Develop forms for the program. Texas L
Define scorecard for selecting which projects to fund. What de
Which c
gas r
The Dep
per $
Promote the RLF and capitalize with funds. Promoti
Provide loan and technical assistance to borrowers. Through

Track and monitor loans. Develop

Stakeholder Interviews

Developing Framework. Anna Prizzia, the Director of
the Office of Sustainability, said that after the REF is
approved, a student/faculty appropriation committee will
set up the fund's constitution and guidelines. The funding
will focus on lowering the energy costs, not environmental
issues. Prizzia said that energy efficiency projects currently
have the best return on investment and that they should be
the focus in the short-term (A. Prizzia, personal
communication, December 11, 2009).
Matt Fajack said when comparing the cost-effectiveness
of a grant to revolving loan (RLF) model, the RLF would
be the best long-term solution. While a grant system would
provide flexibility for the types of projects, it would not
bring down energy consumption as effectively as a RLF.
He suggested that the RLF loan criteria should initially be
based on payback years, with the fastest payback projects
being implemented first. Over time as the principal fund

Plant, Business Affairs, Office of Sustainability?
mittee members voted for or appointed?
staff time to review, communicate, process, and administer loans.
:ds will vary based on the RLF's structure, fiscal size, and average size of
dual loans.
1 be responsible for monitoring outstanding loans?
bank provide services like loan monitoring?
oan Star Program has sample forms available.
termines the priority of projects to be funded?
riteria align most closely with the RLF's goals?
that could be considered payback, dollars saved, energy saved, greenhouse
reduction, financial need of borrower, renewable energy components, or
ct visibility.
artment of Energy recommends guidelines of a 10 million BTU reduction
1000 spent.
on strategies should align with the specific goals outlined.
out the application, construction, and reporting phases, provide limited
ical assistance.

transparent procedures to track and monitor existing loans.
and track progress towards RLF's specific goals.
nicate and advertise RLF's success.

grows (due to annual REF and repaid loans), Fajack
recommended shifting the criteria to focusing on return on
investment. Once the loan amount is repaid, the college
should continue to see the benefits of the operational
savings (M. Fajack, personal communication, November
20, 2009). However, once the loan is repaid, Norb Dunkel
said that if the borrower's budget is not frozen at levels
prior to the reduced operational savings then the program's
incentive becomes less clear (personal communication,
December 8, 2009).

Framework Limitations. Fajack also noted that a RLF
would be more feasible due to a change in budgetary
appropriations from an Incremental Budget Approach to a
Responsibility Center Management (RCM) approach
effective July 1, 2010. Instead of budget appropriations and
tuition being distributed after administrative and utility
overheads have been taken out, under RCM
colleges/departments will be given a budget upfront and

University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 I Spring 2011


billed individually for utility rates and administrative
overhead. The RCM approach will force
colleges/departments to become more transparent as well
as aware of and accountable for the amount of energy they
use (M. Fajack, personal communication, November 20,

Behavior. The University of Florida has taken aggressive
steps toward reducing energy consumption on campus
through energy-efficient projects, according to Ed Poppell,
Vice President of Business Affairs. Poppell explained that
continuing to improve building occupancy awareness and
conservation will make the biggest difference (personal
communication, November 19, 2009).
Implementing Automatic Meter Reading, which allows
PPD to centrally monitor buildings every fifteen minutes,
will allow the university to better evaluate behavior and
renovation improvements. According to Eric Cochran,
Associate Director of Operations at PPD, PPD is also
currently upgrading steam and chilled water monitoring in
order to improve operations efficiencies. By continuously
monitoring and enhancing building control systems, PPD
can build a database of energy consumption on a building-
by-building basis (personal communication, November 19,

Lighting. John Lawson, PPD's Energy Manager, provided
a great outlook on energy-efficiency projects that would
result in significant operational savings. Lawson described
an effort currently underway to replace high pressure
sodium (HPS) lighting in parking garages with induction
bulbs. The induction replacements would have the same
amount of effective lumens, but they would last at least
fives time longer. Installing lighting occupancy sensors in
auditoriums and large lecture halls has fast paybacks due to
operational savings (personal communication, February 25,

HVAC. Jeff Chorlog, Associate Director for Resource
Management at PPD, said energy efficiency projects could
reduce the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning
(HVAC) demand that uses 65% of operations funding
(personal communication, November 3, 2009). Lawson
described several initiatives to improve mechanical
systems. Scheduling setbacks in air handlers units and
operating fans when buildings are not occupied saves on
cooling and heating. Measuring and controlling the amount
of energy used in buildings provide feedback on potential
solutions to reducing energy or on already completed
projects. Lawson explained that until recently the
university could only monitor a large building's electric,
steam, chilled water, and natural gas usage by monthly
bills. The installation of Automatic Meter Reading (for

electricity) and Enterprise Building Management Systems
(for steam, chilled water, and natural gas) provides PPD
with real time data (personal communication, February 25,
Another initiative with a high return on investment is
retro- and re-commissioning building mechanical systems.
According to the Center for Energy and Environment, re-
commissioning "is the process of improving the operation
and maintenance of building systems to meet the owner's
operational needs, while using only as much energy as
necessary." Re-commissioning helps with evaluating the
effectiveness of older systems, especially in older
buildings, where over time their functionality has changed
and might have more complex operations (J. Lawson,
personal communication, February 25, 2010).
PPD's aggressive plan to reduce energy consumption
over the next five and ten years can be seen in Table 2.

Table 2: Physical Plant Projected Plans

5 years 10 years

Enterprises Building Management
Integrate all utility data into
Enterprise Building Management

Continuous commissioning

Continuous building and
plant efficiency improvement

ROI on every major project
Automatic sequence interrogation
and reporting
Integrate controls usage into
operations procedure
Note. From Lawson.


Under the assumption that a SSGEF would be implemented
by fall 2011, Table 3 shows constitution guideline
recommendations for the first 10 years of its
implementation. Reflecting on the evaluation of Harvard's
Resource Conservation Incentive Program (1999), this
paper recommends that the SSGEF Committee carefully
review the project loan's maximum payback periods during
the first five years of operation. The Harvard study found
that the number of project loans dramatically declined after
the first year due to the high amount of long-term loans
made in the first year. The paper also found that payback
periods increased over time (Levy and Dilwali, 1999, p. 5).
The decline in project loans over time was also attributed
to the idea that the "low-hanging fruit" projects were
picked in the first year.

University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 I Spring 2011


Table 3: Recommendations for Sustainable Green Energy Fund Constitution for First 10 Years





Project Application Eligibility

Borrower Eligibility



Insurance & Collateral

Loan Terms

Maximum Length

Maximum and Minimum Amount

Administrative Fees

Interest Rates


Default and Delinquency

SSGEF Overall Responsibility


Application Award


Loan Application Scorecard

1st Priority

2nd Priority

3rd Priority

Other Performance Consideration

Administrative and Staff Needs

Develop Official Forms

1-10 years

Stimulate energy-efficiency investments through a revolving loan in order to reduce overall
campus energy consumption.

Reduce overall energy consumption.
Educate and engage students and employees to transition to an energy conscious culture.

Projects that can show quantifiable estimates to reduce building energy use

Departments and colleges

Proper documentation of energy audit

Project progress reports should be submitted semi-annually

Case-by-case basis, usually backed by SGEF
Committee shall determine if interest fee is necessary

Payback period of 5 years

Case-by-case basis

Annual 3% interest

Account for inflation

Paybacks based on estimated savings
Payments are made annually in August

Default of payment results in suspension from applying for future loans

Business Affairs
Office of Sustainability will oversee administrative duties

Review and award loan applicants

75% committee approval; VP of Business Affairs reserves right to veto awarded project

12 person body: 6 faculty members appointed by VP and 6 students appointed by Office of

Estimated savings demonstrate fastest simple payback

Overall impact on the university

Highest return-on investment

Number of projects currently loaned out, total money loaned out, innovation of technologies,
project visibility

SSGEF will budget for 1 full-time Energy Coordinator to oversee program
3 Office of Sustainability part-time staff will support Energy Coordinator
1 Office of Sustainability part-time staff will process applications
2 Office of Sustainability paid interns will help track, monitor, document, and advertise
successful projects
2 unpaid interns at the Office of Sustainability will provide technical support for loan

Loan application, loan disbursement, and reporting documentation needs to be clearly provided

University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 I Spring 2011


Table 4 recommends guidelines for how long maximum
payback periods should be in the SSGEF's first few years.

Table 4: Recommended Maximum Payback Period

Year Maximum Payback
1 2 years
2 3 years
3 5 years

Table 5 displays recommended amendments for the
SSGEF after the first 10-year period, assuming annual
tuition credit hours remained at approximately 1.2 million
hours and the REF remained constant at $1.00 per-credit-
hour. These amendments are necessary because what began
as $1.2 million will have accumulated to an endowment of
$12 million (in capital and outstanding loans) and should
be capitalized accordingly. Table 5 also shows
recommendation adjustments from Table 3 that account for
the different circumstances after 10 years of

Table 5: Recommendations for Sustainable Student Green Energy Fund Constitution after 10 Years

10+ Years

Aggressively reduce conventional energy consumption through energy-efficiency improvements
and expanding UF's Renewable Energy Portfolio

Reduce conventional energy consumption
Drive Renewable Energy construction through large Power Purchase Agreement contracts

Payback period of 7 years

Loan Application Scorecard
1 st Priority

Estimated ROI

2nd Priority

3rd Priority

Impact on increasing Renewable Energy Portfolio

Project innovation and visibility

Other Performance Considerations

Administrative and Staff Needs

Number of projects currently loaned out, total money loaned out, innovation of technologies,
project visibility

Reassess Energy Coordinator, paid and unpaid interns, and staff as needed

This paper also recommends that each project
application have a project coordinator or project executive
that will have basic liaison responsibilities between the
construction of the project and the SSGEF Committee.
This individual would monitor the bidding of construction
improvement work, stay in communication with the
SSGEF Committee throughout construction, and compile a
brief case study of the project six months after project
completion. This case study would provide the SSGEF
Committee with feedback on the successes, set backs, and
lessons learned. The case study should also be posted on
the Office of Sustainability's webpage.
The SSGEF Committee also needs to consider what
types of energy efficiency project applications will be most
cost-effective. Per the advice of stakeholders at the
University of Florida and the energy-efficiency literature
review, this study suggests focusing on three general types
of projects: behavior awareness of energy impacts, lighting

retrofits, and mechanical system improvements and
Applications with projects that focus on behavioral
changes should be approved from the onset and constantly
awarded over time since the university sees new building
occupants annually. Similar to Harvard, this study
recommends encouraging colleges or departments to apply
for projects that would have an occupant engagement
staffer or intern from the Office of Sustainability initiate
change and then document, monitor, and advertise the
applicant's efforts on the Office of Sustainability's
webpage. The loan for the project would mostly cover the
soft costs of the staff members' or interns' salaries to
initiate the project and document it afterwards (Nathan
Gauthier, personal communication, April 16, 2010).
As shown in Table 6, the University of Florida could see
paybacks of less than three years for lighting retrofits and
sensors for lights. Retro-commissioning mechanical

University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 I Spring 2011



Loan Terms

Maximum Length


systems, air handler replacement and steam chiller years (personal communication, February 25, 2010).
improvements would all see paybacks of less than five

Table 6: University of Florida Energy Conservation List

Projects Estimated Cost Estimated Annual Payback (Years) ROI
Lighting retrofits $2,567,505 $1,226,120 2.1 48%
Retro-commissioning $8,510,000 $2,500,000 3.4 29%
Equipment (air handler replacement) $15,000,000 $3,219,300 4.7 21%
Deferred maintenance (energy savings only) $14,600,000 $2,500,000 5.8 17%
Steam chillers $2,300,000 $580,000 4.0 25%
Sensors for lights $675,000 $265,960 2.5 39%
Thermal storage $4,000,000 $600,000 6.7 14%
Solar power (beta test next generation solar panels) $3,500,000 $456,250 7.7 12%
Solar water heating $350,000 $75,000 4.7 21%
Totals $51,502,505 $11,422,630 4.5 22%
Note. From Lawson.

In the future, the SGEF Committee will need to make
decisions on how best to invest in reducing energy
consumption. This paper recommends using a revolving
loan fund business model to ensure that a "sustainable"
SGEF can eventually function without being dependent on
a REF. Furthermore, it is imperative that the administration
supports the SSGEF constitution. This study's research and
conclusion provides the "sustainable" SGEF Committee
with a feasible guide to effectively reducing energy on
campus immediately.


A Student Green Energy Fund at the University of
Florida could significantly reduce energy consumption on
campus while instilling a sustainable culture among its
building occupants. This study recommends using the
revolving loan as a business model in order to create a
sustainable SSGEF. By using a revolving loan fund (RLF),
the SSGEF net endowment's growth will only be limited to
annual term amount of the Renewable Energy Fee. In
addition to the RLF, a well-considered constitution needs
to be crafted and types of project loans need to be
determined in order to ensure the SSGEF's success.

In accordance with the opinions of Matt Fajack and Sam
Booth on RLFs, this paper suggests the RLF is the best
business model to extend the impact of the SSGEF funds.
This study concludes that money recaptured through the
loan repayments should be invested in additional energy-
efficient projects. It is also imperative that chain of
command runs from the SSGEF to high university
officials. Furthermore, this paper recommends that these
university officials participate in drafting the SSGEF
constitution and publicly support the constitution methods
of operation, particularly, the idea that the backbone to the
RLF's success relies on the condition that reduced
operational costs for a college or department will not affect
annual budget appropriations.
The overall performance of the SSGEF should be
informally measured by the growth in the number of
projects supported over time, the growth in participation
and awareness, and the annual financial savings. These
should be used along with indicators, payback periods, and
returns on investment. Should these conclusions be
accepted by the leadership at the University of Florida, the
next steps to ensure success would be to formalize the
framework and establish measureable goals.


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University of Florida I Journal of Undergraduate Research I Volume 12, Issue 2 1 Spring 2011