“After the research we’ve done, we’ve seen schools come out of these revolving funds with up to 30 percent return on the investment,” Boss said.
The funds can go to any energy conservation projects, including some from the $600 million in deferred maintenance projects on University buildings.
Boss said financial restraints have caused the University to postpone maintenance on about 20 buildings.
“Obviously, as the oldest public university in the country, we have some very old buildings on campus, so there’s always plenty of work to do to reduce energy waste and improve energy efficiency,” Boss said.
Mann said the necessary maintenance is mainly in heating and air conditioning services around campus, but some of the problems are more severe.
“Structural problems are always a reality, but it’s not like any roofs are going to be collapsing into buildings any time soon,” he said.
“At the same time, we are hoping that doesn’t happen because we don’t have the money to fix an entire building.”
Boss said fixing maintenance issues would be beneficial to the University.
“The maintenance fee is really what the University needs to start chipping away at,” Boss said. “It’s a win-win because students are happy, and in the long run we’ll be conserving resources.”
Cooper said this is a practical opportunity to conserve.
“This spotlights how we are leaders in environmental conservation,” Cooper said. “We will do whatever we can to save energy.”
Although the funds have yet to be allocated, projects are already being discussed and will be proposed at a Sept. 7 meeting with Mann.
“A lot of small, realistic changes are better than one big, overwhelming change,” Mann said.
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