University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Alma Mater at night.Revolving Loan Fund

In 2011 a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) was established for utility conservation projects at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The original fund source consisted of $2.25 million with contributions of $1 million from the Office of the Chancellor, $750,000 from the President’s Office, and $500,000 from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)

The RLF is managed by Facilities & Services (F&S). F&S calculates cost avoidance from a RLF project using the fully loaded utility rate. The maximum payback period for a project to be considered for the RLF is 10 years. The loan will be repaid with an annual payment equal to the calculated annual savings until the loan is fully repaid.

When a project is funded by multiple funding sources, the annual savings to be returned to the RLF will be calculated by the payback associated with the work completed by the entire project. For example, Project A costs $500,000 and has a $100,000 per year payback. The RLF contributes an additional $400,000 to increase the scope of work and increase the savings by $250,000 per year. Thus, the total project would cost $900,000 with an annual cost savings of $350,000 per year. The RLF would be repaid at $350,000 per year.

Potential projects will be solicited from campus departments. The solicitation will be at a minimum in the form of an e-mail to building contacts, and there will often be additional messaging through the SSC, and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE). Projects will be submitted through a web-based form by the requesting department, and assistance through F&S may be available upon request to help complete necessary information. Project selection will be handled through the RLF Committee, which will meet on a semiannual basis to approve and/or reject projects.  Project selection will be based on the following criteria: payback period, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, fund size impact, visibility, and project coordination.


The higher education participants in The Challenge are managed by Second Nature. To learn more about how Second Nature plans to expand use of GRFs in higher education, visit their page!


Champaign, Illinois

Green Revolving
Fund Size



November 2011


Mike Marquissee
Director, Planning and Budget Resources