Financing Sustainability Projects on Campus

Access to competitively-priced third party capital is one of the primary barriers to undertaking significant energy efficiency and sustainability projects. While many schools have traditionally used their ability to borrow or fund projects internally, in recent years, these opportunities have become more limited. Furthermore, many schools have already implemented the “low hanging fruit” and are now addressing projects that include significant equipment replacement, deferred maintenance, and longer-payback opportunities such as renewable energy generation. How to pay for these projects is a question for all schools.

Ways to Finance Energy Reduction Projects

Campus energy efficiency improvements are most commonly financed in ways similar to other capital projects, through an organization’s internal budget or with a loan. However, there are a number of other ways that institutions can finance energy efficiency or sustainability work. Some of these methods have been around for many years, and primarily arose as a way to fund projects developed through certain contracting methods, such as energy performance contracting (EPC).Others are quite new and have arisen with the goal of specifically funding energy efficiency or sustainability work while circumventing some of the entrenched barriers that schools face when using traditional contracting or financing methods.

Revolving Loan Funds | Tax Exempt Lease Purchase Agreements
Power Purchase Agreements | Efficiency Services Agreements
Managed Utility Services Contracts

Coming Soon…

Analytic Tools & Resources.

We are working on additional resources for financing sustainability.
If you have ideas about specific tools or resources that would be useful to your institution, please email


Financing Sustainability on Campus
A comprehensive handbook to financing sustainability with real world examples, creative strategies, and clear explanations of a wide variety of financial tools and programs.
Download the first chapter (PDF)
Purchase a copy

Boldly Sustainable
Showing how sustainability is both the right thing to do and the smart thing, this book provides breakthrough concepts, strategies, and tools that produce a sharper vision, an energized mission, and a firmer footing in the marketplace.
Visit the website
Read the Implementer article

Financing Energy Performance Contracts (EPC)
Offers a detailed overview of the various financing options for EPC-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. It also covers EPC’s impact on credit rating, and a matrix of the options’ distinguishing features.
Download the document (PDF)


Higher Education and the Stimulus Package
August, 2009. This Siemens presentation addressed the funding available for construction, renovation and repair through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), State Energy Program (SEP) as well as through other governmental organizations and existing bonds.
Download the presentation (PPT)

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