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The Billion Dollar Challenge: Energy Efficiency & Revolving Loan Funds

Facing rising energy costs and steep budget cuts, many colleges are grappling with how to finance urgently needed—but capitalintensive—energy efficiency upgrades on campus. In response, the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI), in collaboration with 15 partner organizations, has launched a project to help these institutions achieve sizable energy savings through the use of an innovative financing model.

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in selfmanaged revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. The reason they are called “revolving funds” is because the funds loan money to specific projects, which then repay the loan through an internal account transfer from savings achieved in the institution’s utilities budget. Participating schools will achieve reductions in operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating regenerating funds for future projects.

The Yale Center for Business and the Environment is pleased to launch our fifth annual online webinar series. This year’s series will continue Blueprint for Efficiency, with an emphasis on the latest developments and opportunities for energy efficiency in the private sector. Through weekly presentations from leaders in the corporate, non-profit, and public-private arenas, we will explore a range of successful models that make the business case for energy efficiency.

This year’s series is a collaboration between the Yale Center for Business and the Environment and the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). Founded in 1977, the Alliance is a large Washington, D.C. based nonprofit organization that works solely to promote energy efficiency worldwide through research, education and advocacy.