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Projects Updates for Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)


  1. Revolving Loan Fund projects approved

  2. special vote requested

    Revolving Loan Fund Selection Committee,

    The time is almost here to select another round of projects for the Revolving Loan Fund. For this upcoming selection we have approximately $1,000,000 to allocate. However, due to a timing issue I am appealing to the committee to decide on a Retro-Commissioning project in advance of the formal selection meeting. The reason for requesting Retro-Commissioning at Memorial Stadium early is due to a deadline associated with the availability of DCEO grant dollars. If expenditures and savings are realized prior to May 31, 2017, DIA could receive $100,000 in grant money from DCEO. Our meeting for project selection is targeted for the first week of May 2017 which does not give us enough time to qualify for the grant.

    Below is project specific information that would normally be presented at the project selection meeting. We don’t necessarily need to score this project, all we need is a majority decision (yes or no) to approve this project. If accepted, the committee would be considering $800,000 for allocation at the targeted May selection meeting.

    Project Name: Memorial Stadium Retro-Commissioning

    Project type: Retro-Commissioning

    Buildings: Memorial Stadium

    Energy Cost Savings: $300,000 /year

    Funding Request: $200,000

    Project Cost: $500,000 (DIA will contribute $200,000 and DCEO grant contribution will be $100,000)

    Payback Period: Approximately 2 Years

    General Description of Work:

    Provide temperature control upgrades & retro-commissioning services for the west and north portions of the stadium. During preliminary work, many noteworthy items have been identified. Several HVAC equipment scheduling improvements have been made already.

    Project Owners: Brett Stillwell (Athletics) / Karl Helmink (F&S)

    Project Execution Contact: Brett Stillwell (Athletics) / Karl Helmink (F&S)


    1-      Payback Period: The payback period is approximately 2 years.

    2-      Reduction of Greenhouse Gas: Greenhouse gases will be reduced by 3,491,227 lbs due to conservation of electricity, chilled water, and steam.

    3-      Fund Size Impact: While grant dollars are available for this particular submission, the grant will not be used to increase the Revolving Loan Fund balance.

    4-      Visibility: Memorial Stadium is an iconic building for Athletics on campus.  The energy savings could be indirectly visible in that it could pay for other items that Athletics desires. There is a large amount of diversity in the usage of the space.

    5-      Project Coordination: Coordination items need to be considered as the south end zone & east grandstand project approaches. There are temporary plans to be considered prior to the arrival of this particular project.

    Other Pertinent Information:

    It is proposed that Athletics provide $200k for this project. Eileen Westervelt, via DCEO funding, has provided a building energy study which has identified large energy savings in this building of over $300,000 per year. It is suggested that to secure the $100K DCEO grant, $150K needs to be spent by May 31, 2017 and evidence will need to be presented that the indicated energy is being saved.

    The campus has realized a significant amount of utility savings due to the efforts made by the Retro-Commissioning teams and the expectation would be no different at Memorial Stadium. The data the Retro-Commissioning group has provided for this application predicts a very positive outcome which is consistent with most of their projects throughout campus.

    The reason for the expedited decision is to take advantage of the possible DCEO funds that will likely not be available in the future. Thanks again for your participation in this selection process and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    I ask that you please reply with your individual yes or no votes before February 10, 2017.

    Thanks again,

    Josh Whitson

  3. Article about Billion Dollar Green Challenge

    The Chicago Tribune included a mention of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as one of two schools in Illinois that have joined the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.

  4. FY17 Committee formed and meeting being scheduled

    Associated Project(s): 

    This information was sent to the FY17 RLF Selection Committee:

    Thank you for continuing to serve on the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Selection Committee. The primary function of the committee is the selection of RLF proposed projects. At the selection meeting, you will be considering approximately $2M in energy conservation projects that are expected to have a relatively short payback period. The utility savings (cost avoidance) from these projects is then repaid to the RLF allowing additional conservation projects to be funded at a later date. For more detailed program information, please see the attached Agreement/Process document and visit the RLF website.

    An email with proposed project specifics and a scoring template will be sent prior to the meeting. Currently, the Utilities & Energy Services staff are reviewing the proposals and assembling the handout and presentation.  We would like to target a day when the committee is available to present the proposed projects, score, and finalize selections. Your charge will be to review the submissions utilizing the stated criteria in the attachment and make recommendations for loan funding.

    I look forward to meeting with you and please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thank you again,

    Josh Whitson

  5. News Release - RLF update

    Associated Project(s): 

    $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: 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.

    The RLF is a recognized part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge where 57 universities have committed more than $116M for energy conservation efforts: 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:

    RLF Project Application ​

    Attached Files: 
  6. ECBS SWATeam Meeting Minutes

    Ben McCall attended this ECBS SWATeam meeting to join in on the discussion of objectives 2 and 3 under the ECBS section of iCAP 2015.  A consultation group will be formed to help in recommending potential objective 2 strategies.  The main issue is that there is no "one size fits all" standard for all campus buildings.  Various strategies of creating a feedback loop for reducing energy usage were also discussed with regards to objective 3.  Next meeting is set for Tuesday, March 15.

    Attached Files: 
  7. Archived info - RLF previous background info

    Associated Project(s): 

    This fund was originally called for in the 2010 iCAP, as the “clean energy fund.”  It was established in Fiscal Year 2012, with funding from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Office of the Chancellor.  Within the first year, the Office of the President committed additional funds. 

    With input from the campus community, Facilities & Services, the SSC, the Office of Sustainability, and the Office of the Chancellor worked through the details for selecting projects.  The agreement about the process was signed in November 2011.  According to the  agreement, any grant funds received for RLF projects in campus-funded utility buildings will be allocated entirely to the RLF.  Thus, the fund can grow over time.  Additionally, the campus agreed to match any future additional commitments from the SSC.

    If an Auxiliary unit is interested in using the Revolving Loan Fund for a utility conservation project, a simple Memo of Understanding is needed to allow the repayment through utility savings over time. 

  8. ECBS Objective 4 Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

    The ECBS Objective 4 Subcommittee held its first meeting on Tuesday, February 9.  Discussion revolved around the issue of tying all existing campus engagement programs (e.g., ECIP, Certified Green Office Program, revolving loan fund, etc.) together into one campus-wide brand.

    Attached Files: 
  9. GRITS one month trial period January 2014

    F&S is working with Shoshana Blank, the Senior Research Fellow & GRITS Project Lead at the Sustainable Endowments Institute, on a trial tracking and reporting system for the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).  Mike Marquissee is entering some historical data in to the system.  F&S is also sharing access to the trial site with the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) Program Advisor, Micah Kenfield. 

    Initial reactions at F&S are very positive.  The GRITS system has a low annual cost, and it provides a simple and robust tracking system for the RLF.  This would be an upgrade from the spreadsheet tracking we are currently using.  The program also provides reports on payback, energy saved, fund growth over time, and more.  Additionally, there is a Project Library resource, which shares conservation project information from other GRITS participants.

  10. accounting update from Mike M.

    Associated Project(s): 

    I have realigned the way we account for projects in AiM, so each RLF will need to have a specific  AiM account number that maps to a banner plant fund.  As soon as I can transfer the open work orders off of MY862-Revolving Loan Fund, I will inactivate that account number.

    So, each new RLF project will need a Banner Plant Account number (I obtain) and a new AiM account number (mee, too.) then I will let the PM know so he/she can set up work orders.  This way, it keeps project costs segregated.  Putting it all into one account like I did initially dumps all project costs into one AiM account making it hard to keep the expenditures separate.  - Mike

  11. note from Billion Dollar Green Challenge

    Hi Morgan and Mike,

    It was great to speak with you both today and learn more about the revolving loan fund at UIUC. Your green revolving fund would be well-fit for the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.

    I have attached an information packet with all you need to know about The Challenge. If you want to sign-on to The Challenge, sign page 15. If UIUC has a $2 million revolving fund, it would cost $1,000 a year to be on The Challenge.

    I also attached the document with estimated lifespans for various energy efficiency equipment.

    I'll be in touch in early November to get you GRITS trial access, unless I hear from you sooner!

    Actually, Morgan, I see that you will be attending the Climate Leadership Summit hosted by Second Nature in Boston next month. Our office is actually down the hall from Second Nature. My boss, Mark Orlowski, will be at the Summit, and could always meet to answer questions. Also, if you want to meet up with me, I could meet by the conference as well. Just let me know if that would be helpful.




    Shoshana Blank
    Senior Research Fellow &

    GRITS Project Lead

    Sustainable Endowments Institute
    A Special Project of
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

    18 Tremont Street, Suite 930

    Boston, MA 02108

    Office: (617) 528-0334

  12. RLF project selection committee meeting delayed

    Associated Project(s): 

    Dear Revolving Loan Fund Selection Committee,

    For two reasons, we will be rescheduling the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) project review meeting.  First, the funding available to allocate from the RLF has significantly increased with the roll-over to FY15.  We now have an additional million dollars to allocate, with a total of approximately $2.3M.  Therefore, additional potential projects need to be identified before the selection takes place.  Second, the AFMFA selection committee is being called this fall, for the first time in a few years.  The founding agreement for the RLF (attached for your reference) intended the project selection to occur with the AFMFA project selection process.  Therefore, this meeting will be arranged in conjunction with the fall AFMFA committee meeting. 

    The AFMFA committee meeting will be arranged by Doris Reeser, and I will remain in contact to answer questions about the RLF.

    Thank you,



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