reducing energy consumption. Phil Gatton, Director of Plant and Service Operations at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, also commented on the use of performance contracts and how the experience led the university to issue debt to support the implementation of energy efficiency projects by campus personnel.
“There were also speakers outlining fresh, innovative financing opportunities that institutions can use to fund energy efficiency projects during this period of tight capital budgets. Townsend Albright, Senior Funding Manager for the Illinois Finance Authority, addressed a group via conference call and outlined a series of financial services and tools available to higher education facilities seeking to finance energy related projects. He also noted that the IFA has been involved in energy projects in the past.
“James Mann, Executive Director of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, presented grant opportunities for Illinois universities. He reported that the foundation was willing and eager to provide grants for universities to support energy efficient lighting projects, architectural design enhancements that would bring campus construction projects up to the Leads Silver Standard, and renewable energy projects such as wind power. He noted that Illinois State University had received a foundation grant in support of a wind power project located on the Illinois State University experimental farm.
“Claire Jahns and Natalie Redichek of the Chicago Climate Exchange presented an overview of the functions and benefits of the emissions trading activity supported by the Exchange. The Exchange works with large, industrial, governmental, and institutional energy users and producers to establish voluntary greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The Exchange believes that universities can generate financial and environmental benefits by participating in the exchange program.
“Sara Wilcoxson, Energy Division Manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, provided details on the personnel training opportunities available through the building operator certification program. The program, supported by DCEO and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, provides a technical curriculum designed to provide building managers, operators, and engineers with tools and strategies to operate their facilities in a more energy efficient manner.
“Final group discussions and concluding remarks focused on what activities the Board, colleges, and universities should consider in the near immediate future. Specific attention was drawn to the following: monitoring the progress of changes to the energy performance contracts involved, group purchasing of energy commodities by region rather than by state, and establishing a capital fund to support efficiency projects.
“For the next year or so I would like to monitor what is going on at the campuses. I believe Western Illinois has approached the Clean Energy Foundation. I would like to know if the other schools have taken advantage of that too.”
14. Report of the Priorities, Productivity, and Accountability Committee
Dr. Hayes said, “At our last Board meeting, I shared with you the recommendations of Subcommittee B, chaired by Robert Ruiz, listing a number of opportunities to reduce costs and increase efficiency. These initiatives are now being developed by the IBHE staff, and we look forward to future communication about their progress.
“Today, I bring to your attention the report and recommendations of Subcommittee A, chaired by Dr. Proshanta Nandi. My remarks will be an abbreviated summary of that report, with emphasis on the recommendations made.
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