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UW Conservation and Efficiency Revolving Fund Selects Projects, Increases Fund Size

June 1, 2015

The University of Wyoming Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC) has selected the first open, campuswide Conservation and Efficiency Revolving Fund (CERF) projects.

The CERF will fund three energy-saving projects proposed by UW students, staff and faculty.

“The CERF is an innovative funding mechanism that engages students, staff and faculty in campus efficiency, conservation and sustainability projects,” says Nicole Korfanta, Ruckelshaus Institute associate director and CSC co-chair. “Savings from these projects are revolved back into the CERF to continually fund similar projects.”

The CSC requested proposals from the campus community at the beginning of the spring semester and evaluated projects in April based on CERF criteria including return on investment; student engagement and education opportunity; and overall sustainability impact.

Projects selected for funding include a lighting upgrade for the Fleet Operations Garage, proposed by staff members Carolyn Smith and Shawn Fletcher; and stage lighting replacements for the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts theater, proposed by faculty member Sharon Huizinga.

“These two energy efficiency projects were selected primarily for quick payback potential and long-term energy and financial savings,” says Jim Scott, Physical Plant director and CSC co-chair.

The third project, the Initiative to Encourage Saving Energy (INTENSE), is a residence hall competition and feedback program designed to encourage students to conserve energy, proposed by undergraduates Brandon Lopez and Gabbie McMorrow. Energy dashboards will be installed in the four Washakie Center residence halls, providing excellent opportunities for student engagement and learning.

The first internal CERF project, an air filter upgrade implemented in multiple buildings in 2014, has exceeded conservative payback estimates.

“We are pleased with the first CERF project’s performance and payback, which has allowed us to open up the proposal process to UW students, staff and faculty to increase engagement opportunities,” Scott says. “As a result of the project’s high performance, the fund amount will be increased by $100,000, for a total of $350,000.” 

Korfanta adds, “The Campus Sustainability Committee thanks all participants for their thoughtful project submissions and commitment to sustainability at UW. We look forward to receiving more innovative project ideas during the next request for CERF proposals this fall.”

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