Between October 2011 and December 2012, the University spent $1 million on a large-scale lighting retrofit project, replacing 33,000 T12 lamps with high performance T8 lamps in 60 campus buildings. During this time, the Office of Sustainability advocated for participation in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, a national initiative to create green revolving loan funds of at least $1 million on college campuses.
A green revolving loan fund commits dollar savings from energy-efficiency projects to a fund that re-invests the savings in additional energy efficiency projects. The establishment of a green revolving loan fund at the University of Oregon would support the implementation of the Oregon Model for Sustainable Development.
Francis Dyke, former Vice President for Finance and Administration, signed the Billion Dollar Green Challenge on October 3, 2011 and committed the University of Oregon to creating its revolving loan fund within a year. Her successor, Jamie Moffitt, saw the opportunity to use the lighting retrofit project as a funding mechanism for establishing the University’s Green Revolving Loan Fund.
The University will set aside $100,000 in assumed energy savings annually for the next twenty years. Half will “re-pay” the internal loan. The other half will be made available to finance future energy efficiency projects. All of the energy savings will be used to supply new buildings with energy while keeping total campus building energy consumption at 2011 levels.