ROCKY HILL, Conn. — Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) is lending $1 million for “Campus Efficiency Now,” a new program aimed at advancing energy efficiency and promoting cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy for Connecticut’s independent colleges.

The Campus Efficiency Now program is designed to enable participating colleges to move forward with energy saving measures with no upfront funding by the college. Thus, the schools will be able to take energy conservation action now in spite of challenging budgetary times.

CEFIA will loan up to $1 million to support the installation of energy efficiency upgrades. These funds will be repaid by participating Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC) member schools via savings generated by the projects under a five-year energy savings agreement. The initial program partners see this as a chance to expand the proven energy savings performance contract approach into this historically underserved market. The initiative will also demonstrate the value of Connecticut’s new finance approach to clean energy.

“We are excited about the Campus Efficiency Now pilot program opportunity. This effort, which represents CEFIA’s largest loan to date for energy efficiency, will allow CEFIA to demonstrate how financing efforts focused on encouraging deeper energy efficiency opportunities can provide immediate and long-term benefits to colleges and universities throughout the state,” said Bert Hunter, CEFIA chief investment officer. “It also presents a financing opportunity whereby the end users realize immediate savings. CEFIA ultimately will be able to support even more energy efficiency investment as these loan funds get repaid by the energy savings produced by the projects.”

Campus Efficiency Now is a pilot program developed by GreenerU Inc. in partnership with CCIC and CEFIA. GreenerU Inc. has had prior successes with other New England schools, such as Babson College, Brown University, and Clark University, in implementing energy efficiency programs. In the pilot phase, five CCIC members (University of Hartford, Mitchell College, Connecticut College, University of Saint Joseph, and the University of New Haven) are expected to participate with loan funding provided by CEFIA. Additional CCIC member participation as well as additional funding from private investment sources is expected based on positive results from the pilot program.

“We are pleased to join in partnership with CEFIA to find ways to enhance sustainability efforts on our campuses,” said Judith Greiman, president, CCIC. “Campus Efficiency Now is an exciting opportunity for our members and should serve as a national model for reducing energy consumption and cost on college campuses, which tend to have large energy-using footprints and older buildings and systems.”

Under the Campus Efficiency Now program, there are no upfront costs to the participating colleges, schools only pay for delivered energy savings, not for equipment or installation. A share of the college’s savings is dedicated to repay CEFIA’s loans. GreenerU is in charge of overseeing a rigorous three-step process that begins with a preliminary feasibility assessment; data gathering, budgeting, and sustainability goal setting; and concludes with an operational project that will deliver energy savings and sustainability benefits to each participating campus over and beyond the five-year contract term.

“GreenerU is pleased to be working with CEFIA and CCIC in launching this ground-breaking energy efficiency initiative for colleges and universities in Connecticut,” said Rob Pratt, founder and CEO of GreenerU. “In view of the fact that energy efficiency is the most cost effective way for colleges to lower utility bills and reduce carbon emissions, it is critical that we utilize innovative approaches in financing to accelerate the implementation of energy saving measures.”

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Publication date: 10/1/2012