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Projects Updates for Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)


  1. GRITS 1.0

    Launch of GRITS 1.0

    On Earth Day, the Sustainable Endowments Institute will be launching the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) 1.0, a tool that streamlines tracking and calculation of project-level energy, financial and carbon data for sustainability and efficiency investments. On April 17, we will host a special webinar to provide a preview of GRITS 1.0 and the GRITS Affiliates program before its public launch (April 22). For information on the webinar and the GRITS Affiliates program, please see below for more details and how to register.

    What is GRITS?

    GRITS 1.0 is an online tool that offers a bridge between management and performance reporting by creating a space for institutions to track, analyze and share data on specific projects or groups of projects--well beyond the capabilities of spreadsheets. GRITS provides an accessible platform to better manage financial and environmental project performance.

    What can you do with GRITS?

    • Access and learn from the field-tested projects of peer institutions (the Project Library has hundreds of projects and is growing rapidly)
    • Facilitate investments in efficiency projects by enabling fund administrators to easily and clearly communicate with stakeholders
    • Simplify calculations of project-specific carbon and financial savings on both annualized and estimated life-of-project timeframes
    • Create customized reports that tell the story of current and anticipated project performance.

    The improvements offered in GRITS 1.0 are the culmination of more than two years of development and collaboration with participants in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.

    Interested in a tour? Email to see first-hand the improved GRITS tool.

    Special Preview Webinar of GRITS 1.0 on April 17

    In partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Endowments Institute will host a webinar to provide a special preview of GRITS 1.0 and the GRITS Affiliates program before its public launch on April 22. Many institutions in the United States and Canada have requested access to the GRITS web-based platform to better track project-level energy, financial, and carbon data, and we are excited to offer access to GRITS to all institutions.

    The webinar will take place on Thursday, April 17 at 2:00 PM EDT. Please RSVP for this free webinar at

    Introducing GRITS Affiliates

    What is GRITS Affiliates?
    GRITS Affiliates is SEI's new program that opens access to GRITS 1.0 to all institutions and organizations.

    Offering GRITS 1.0 to a wider community will build on the important work that is already being undertaken, strengthen best practices in the field, and help more institutions realize vital environmental and financial benefits. Members of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge will still have the advantage of a more cost-effective program for using GRITS. Challenge members will also benefit from new project-specific and fund-specific data provided by GRITS Affiliates that will help further expand the Project Library.

    GRITS Affiliates will be available to schools and organizations outside The Challenge by subscription.

    Interested in GRITS Affiliates? Sign up for free trial access by emailing

  2. Memorial Stadium project funded by RLF

    Associated Project(s): 

    Revolving Loan Fund Selection Committee,

    Thank you to all who participated in the special vote. We received a majority vote of four “yes” responses, so the project is accepted. Our Business Office will get the MOU written and we will move forward with the work very soon. The terms of the loan will be outlined in the MOU and will be in accordance with the signed agreement dated 12/03/2015.

    Again, thank you to all who participated and we’ll be in contact with you very soon regarding the next selection meeting.

    Josh Whitson

  3. RLF project suggestions now being accepted

    Associated Project(s): 

    The FY14 Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) selection process has recently begun.  The RLF can fund medium payback utility conservation projects, involving energy, water, or chilled water on campus  (Examples of RLF projects are the campus lighting retrofit and the installation of occupancy sensors).  Launched in 2011 as a part of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), the RLF fully funds projects and is paid back over time from the associated cost avoidance.  Details about the RLF can be found on the iCAP Portal and in the attached fact sheet.  Project suggestions will be accepted through October 7.  See

    Please direct any questions to Morgan Johnston 217-333-2668

    Attached Files: 
  4. $250,000 available in FY13; allocation process TBD

    Associated Project(s): 

    Mike Marquissee confirmed the funding available for allocation in FY13 is $250,000. Doris Reeser stated that there will be no AFMFA allocation meeting this year.  It was decided that the call for proposals should wait until there is at least $1M to allocate from this fund.  Therefore, there will not be a selection process during FY13.

  5. Campus Revolving Loan Fund

  6. FY12 Projects Selected

    Associated Project(s): 

    These projects were selected for FY12 RLF funding, in this priority order:


    Lighting Retrofits

    RLF Requested: $1,500,000

    This project is part of a campus-wide effort to upgrade all T12 fluorescent light fixtures to yield improved lighting quality for the users while decreasing operating and maintenance expenses.  This project involves energy-saving upgrades to lamps and ballasts of existing fluorescent light fixtures in (53) campus buildings.  We are requesting funding in the amount of $1.5 million, although the work is scalable and any funding amount can be successfully applied.  The total campus need for lighting retrofit is approximately $3.1 million.  Partial grant reimbursement of $800,000 is available.


    Occupancy Sensors

    RLF Requested: $500,000

    This project will install occupancy sensors for control of lighting and HVAC in approximately (30) campus buildings.  As a result, energy use will be decreased up to 30% in affected areas.  This is an expansion and continuation of projects in the past two years, which have focused on installation of occupancy sensors in student classrooms. We are requesting funding in the amount of $500,000, although the work is scalable and any funding amount can be successfully applied.  The total campus need for occupancy sensors is over $6.5 million.  Partial grant reimbursement of up to $40,000 is available.


    LED Exit Signs

    RLF Requested: $250,000

    This project will replace existing exit signs with efficient LED fixtures in approximately (14) campus buildings.  As a result, energy use will be decreased, life safety systems will operate more reliably, and maintenance needs will decrease dramatically.  This is a continuation of projects funded in FY07 and FY08. We are requesting funding in the amount of $250,000, although the work is very scalable and any funding amount can be successfully applied.  Partial grant reimbursement of up to $7,000 is available.



  7. SSC and F&S work to develop a conservation fund

    Associated Project(s): 

    During the summer of 2011, the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) Chair, Suhail Barot, and the F&S Sustainability Coordinator, Morgan Johnston, worked with the Utilities and Energy Services Division of F&S to develop an energy conservation fund.  Discussions included topics such as:

    • source of initial funds
    • qualification requirements for projects
    • selection process for funding
    • resources needed to manage the fund and process

    One comment made by the Director of Utilities and Energy Services, Kent Reifsteck, was that this is a "fund for departments to access to allow them to implement energy conservation measures in order to take advantage of the Energy Incentive Program."  The incentive program was next step#2 from the Utilities Stewarding Excellence report. 

  8. 2010 iCAP commitment

    Associated Project(s): 

    The 2010 iCAP executive summary included this commitment:

    "The University will establish a dedicated, centrally coordinated funding pool for energy conservation projects within the next three years. This “clean energy” fund will allow for both internal (student fees, faculty contributions, staff contributions, energy savings reinvestment, capital programs), and external (programs, rebates, donations, outside investors) participation. It will be established as a capital infusion and coordination mechanism aimed at physical energy and energy cost reductions that also allows for the sustained maintenance of these investments."


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