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Identify funding for projects without payback (Proposed)

Project History

  • 3/16/2017

    The University pays a stormwater utility fee to both the City of Urbana and the City of Champaign.  The fee is based on total impervious area that drains into city-owned storm sewers.

Description

The 2015 iCAP, chapter 9, objective 3 is, "By the end of FY16, identify the amount of funds that are available across campus for projects that do not offer a rapid financial payback, but which are nevertheless important for improving campus sustainability, and identify options to increase that amount annually."

Certain sustainability-related activities need to be funded even though they may not offer clearly defined financial payback, such as stormwater management projects, electric vehicle charging stations, or projects to increase the biodiversity of our campus. Other projects will struggle to find funding because they have very long financial payback periods, such as the improvement of bicycle infrastructure.  These are worthy and important projects but they would not be eligible for funding through the RLF.  

Background

This objective aims to identify the total amount of funds that are available and identify ways to increase that amount annually. The first and big part of the funding is from student fees, including four types:

1) Cleaner Energy Technologies Fee is $2.00 per student per semester. This fee can be used for supporting campus renewable energy projects and is now administered by Student Sustainability Committee (SSC). 

2) Sustainable Campus Environment Fee is $12.06 per student per semester. This fee can be used more broadly for campus sustainability programs and infrastructure. It is administered by the SSC.

3) Bicycle Programs and Infrastructure Fee is $1.00 per student per semester. A new bike fee recommended by the student body to fund bicycle programs and infrastructure.

4) Transportation Fee for MTD is $61 per semester. 

Student fees can be dedicated to non-payback projects, but campus administration does not encourage new student fees.

Central campus funding is another source of funds for non-payback projects. iSEE, Facilities & Services and other impacted campus units will work with the Office of the Provost to identify funding for activities proposed in this iCAP or through the SWATeam process.

Private donations and corporate partnerships going to UIF (University of Illinois Foundation) can be allocated to the non-payback projects. iSEE could, in collaboration with the UIF and the Office of Corporate Relations, lead an effort to explore and expand such external funding opportunities for campus sustainability.

Arbitrage of carbon offsets can also be used to fund sustainability projects, including those that do not fall under the purview of the RLF.  The sale of Carbon Credits has brought in over $1M since 2014 for campus sustainability efforts.

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