The Utility Modification Revolving Fund (UMRF) is the University’s take on a revolving “green” fund. Such funds provide internal capital for high-performance, energy-efficient campus design, operations, maintenance and/or sustainability projects that generate avoided costs. Those savings then feed back into the fund to replenish it, which establishes an ongoing mechanism for the continued feasibility of energy efficiency projects, retrofits, implementation of renewables, and reinvestment in other necessary improvements to reduce the institution’s greenhouse gas footprint and create significant economic gains over time. This establishes a cyclical funding vehicle that helps drive efficiency and greater stability by ensuring capital is available for important projects. Many of these kinds of projects would be difficult to finance without having access to a dedicated, self-renewing monetary source. The UMRF will allow the University to tackle key deferred maintenance, while also working toward high-priority initiatives identified in the forthcoming University of Arizona Sustainability & Climate Action Plan.
The University of Arizona is committed to promoting sustainability ideals in campus operations and throughout the daily life of community members, both on- and off-campus. The University is also dedicated to devoting financial resources to bring about reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and utility use, with the long-term goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2040. The purpose of the UMRF is to promote these objectives by funding innovative projects that produce significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and/or utility use, in alignment with the University’s academic mission, and generating the ancillary benefit of cost savings.
The UMRF was created with an initial approved allocation of $1.25 million from sources within the Division of Business Affairs. Apart from its initial allocation, the UMRF is intended to be mainly self-funding, and the amount available for projects is expected to grow over time via the revolving mechanism. Proposals for the use of funding will be accepted on an annual basis and are welcome from any member of the University Community.
The Fund's inaugural call for proposals is anticipated in Spring 2021.