The Renewable Energy Initiative (REI) is based in Student Affairs. REI is a fund made from a mandatory fee of $6.00 per undergraduate and graduate student per quarter used toward renewable energy installations, such as large-scale photovoltaic arrays, across campus. The REI fee began in fall 2010 and will be collected for a period of ten years (terminating at the end of spring 2020), without reaffirmation.
The Renewable Energy Initiative will enable the campus to undertake a comprehensive, innovative Zero Net Energy (ZNE) initiative that will combine increased energy efficiencies with the use of clean, renewable energies. The project will also achieve the highest level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for most of the Division of Student Affairs’ buildings. Through the initiative, the campus will: 1) become a leading promoter in the use of ZNE to address significant environmental and economic challenges, 2) significantly reduce use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions, 3) gain greater energy independence, 4) help meet UCSB Climate Action Plan goals for a carbon neutral campus by 2050, and 5) direct a significant proportion of savings generated from this initiative to student services.
The REI Governance Board was formed in 2010 as a consultative and decision making student-majority governance board with responsibility for the total proceeds from the REI student fee. Twelve students serve on the board along with four staff and one faculty member.
REI has already completed the installation of a solar PV array on the MAC in the Recreation Center, which resulted in a $25,000 annual savings in the utility bill. Currently, REI is working on another PV array to be installed on Parking Structure 22. It is estimated that the Parking Structure 22 project will result in an annual savings of $80,000 in the utility bill.
For more information, please visit the REI website.