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Projects Updates for Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

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  1. 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: 
  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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,


  6. SSC suggestion about growing the RLF

    Associated Project(s): 

    Dear Mike,

    The Student Sustainability Committee recently decided to fund a project entitled "Energy Shade Curtains - Phase III" for the Plant Care Facility in the amount of $71,000.  The project aims to install and program new shade curtains to decrease unnecessary overuse of energy to heat, cool, and power greenhouse rooms.  An earlier phase of this project included detailed metering, which demonstrated a 50% reduction in heat inputs and a 32% reduction in electricity consumption.

    The SSC, and iSEE, would like to ask whether the energy savings resulting from this project can be "paid back" into the Revolving Loan Fund in order to help facilitate future energy-saving projects.  Obviously we would have to quantify exactly what the savings are, before moving forward.


    Marika Nell (Outgoing Chair, SSC)
    Amy Liu (Incoming Chair, SSC)
    Ben McCall (Associate Director for Campus Sustainability, iSEE)

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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: 
  10. $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.

  11. Campus Revolving Loan Fund

  12. 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.