The Clean Energy Fund was created in response to students’ vision of the University of Vermont (UVM) running efficiently on a fraction of its current energy needs, powered by clean, locally produced renewable energy that fulfills both the University’s needs and supports the local economy.
The mission of the Clean Energy Fund is to finance new clean energy projects on the UVM campus and beyond. The source of the fund is a student fee dedicated to clean energy projects; this dedicated fee is part of a comprehensive fee that UVM collects each semester from full-time undergraduate and graduate students.
The Clean Energy Fund (CEF) was approved in May 2008 by UVM's Board of Trustees. A $10 per semester student fee supports the fund, generating about $225,000 annually. The CEF first gained momentum as student-led intiative in 2005, and was endorsed by the Student Government Association in 2007, after a randomized survey of 419 students showed that 68 percent would pay $10 per semester for the development of clean energy on the UVM campus.
Financial support for the Clean Energy Fund comes from a small part of the comprehensive fee paid by full-time graduate and undergraduate students. These funds are only used for clean energy purchases at UVM; they are not part of the University’s general budget. Up to 10% of the fund may be used for administrative needs associated with the fund. An advisory committee made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators reviews potential projects, and makes recommendations as to how the funds should be allocated. This committee reports their recommendations to the University’s Vice President for Finance, who determines whether the Clean Energy Fund should finance the proposed project.
The CEF committee consults with members of UVM’s physical plant, financial, and planning staff, as well as experts external to UVM (i.e., Burlington Electric Department, Efficiency Vermont, other local renewable energy experts) on the feasibility of project proposals.
The participation and leadership of students on this committee is a critical aspect of CEF. Unlike many University expenditures, students have a strong role in determining appropriate use of Clean Energy Fund money. Meetings of the Clean Energy Fund committee are announced in advance to all members of the University community and are open to all in order to improve transparency and accountability.
To download energy data for individual buildings, click here.