Becoming more energy efficient can be very challenging due to high capital costs, and few organizations are structured internally to create the right incentives. Furthermore, energy cost savings are often “lost” in the budget, so no one gets credit for the good work. Green Revolving Funds (GRFs) provide financial resources, create the right incentives, and provide a way to publicize and promote energy efficiency to the public and potential donors.
Calvin College Professor Matthew Heun has successfully implemented a GRF called the Calvin Energy Recovery Fund (CERF) that has saved $71,000 in energy costs to date. In addition, it attracts sustainability-minded donors and leads to favorable publicity for the college. Dr. Heun will discuss Calvin’s experience with CERF and factors that make GRFs successful.
Representatives from Spectrum Health Systems will discuss the organization’s experience with GRFs and share its best practices for efficiency investment and improvement. Sustainability Coordinator Sarah Chartier and Energy Coordinator Jim Karas will present.
Heun has worked at the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center (ACRC) at the University of Illinois and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and at a start-up aerospace R&D company, where he completed several projects in support of NASA’s Earth Science activities. Dr. Heun spent his 2009 sabbatical in South Africa at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology where he taught and participated in sustainable energy development. He has spoken widely on GRFs in West Michigan since developing CERF.
ChartierS0114PSarah has worked within Spectrum Health’s Sustainability Office for over four years to identify environmental and financial opportunities, reduce waste and mitigate Spectrum Health’s environmental footprint. Sarah measures and manages performance based on the triple bottom line, including organizational readiness, operational performance, waste management, greening the OR, environmental procurement and sustainable foods.