University of Colorado at Boulder: Energy and Climate Revolving Fund

Author: Rebecca Caine and Nathaniel Herz
Published: January 2012

The University of Colorado at Boulder’s student run Environmental Center leads the campus’ sustainability efforts. The Center created the Energy and Climate Revolving Fund (ECRF) in 2007 to finance energy-efficiency upgrades. The ECRF functions as a source of funding for project loans and provides a method of financing projects that seeks to save the university money through reduced utility bills.

The fund is primarily used in buildings that are managed by the student government, each of which has its own facility manager and budget. Once a facility has paid back the loan to ECRF, the subsequent savings on utility bills remains in that facility’s budget, with the amount of money that is returned to the fund determined by the projected cost savings. As of 2010, the ECRF has been used to finance over 80 efficiency measures in three buildings and has provided a total of $379,600 toward projects that will decrease the university’s greenhouse gas emissions.