TGIF Annual Reports
The TGIF Annual Reports are prepared during the summer and cover the previous academic year.
*Since the first two cycles occured in the same academic year, they have been combined into one report.
- Green Fees
The National Wildlife Federation recently conducted a survey and found that eighty percent of American colleges are trying to conserve energy, and half have developed efficiency codes. Nearly a quarter use some form of renewable energy, and twelve percent power at least some of their vehicles with alternative fuel.
Which institutions have green fees?
All different types of universities have green fees. Smaller universities are more likely to have passed a green fee but are limited in what they can accomplish. Smaller universities cannot generate the same revenues from the green fee as a larger institution because of the size of their student body. Therefore, they must charge higher fees or only have a limited impact with the green fees. They tend to pass green fees more because they are usually liberal institutions. Although, larger universities are becoming more and more likely to pass green fee incentives with surprising high support from the student body.
What types of projects do they have funded in this way?
Most green fees go toward the purchase of green energy such as wind power or toward the purchase of green tags. Many universities commit to the Kyoto Protocol reduction of CO2 emissions and buying green energy is the best was to reach the Protocol’s goal. Other projects include: converting transportation to bio-diesel, recycling programs, replacement or modernization of heating and cooling systems, energy efficient light, and so on.
How were the fees adopted?
Most universities, especially the larger ones, the fee must be placed on a ballot and voted on by the student body, then approved by the administration, and then sometimes also approved by the state legislative body. Some universities, the fee only has to be approved by administration.
Most green fee programs have been enacted in the past few years. Therefore it is hard to predict how the programs are effecting the environment in the long run.
Some other universities with green fees:
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has a list of colleges and universities that have implemented various types of green or energy fees.
Below are few examples of colleges and universities that have successfully instituted green fees on their campuses.
· 2. Connecticut College
· 4. Harvard University
· 5. Messiah College
· 6. Northland College
· 7. Tufts University
· 11. University of Kansas
· 15. University of Virginia
Appalachian State University
Fee: $5.00 per semester
The Renewable Energy Initiative (REI) at Appalachian State University was started by students in order to raise awareness of energy practices to the student body and to garner support for an increase of student fees of $5.00 per semester. The REI started a referendum for clean energy on campus and ran a campaign for one and a half months. They conducted local television interviews, created a web site, went to classrooms, hung fliers, and wrote news articles to gain support. When voted on, the referendum past by 81% of the student body. The fee will raise about $120,000 to $150,000 per year.
The REI is now composed of students, faculty, and administration members who will decide how best to allocate the revenue created by the fees. The REI has made the decision to set aside the first monies collected to assist students who have recently received a grant for $10,000 from the EPA to build a biodisel processor. The fund awarded will be used to buy piping and automated valves, wastewater treatment, laboratory supplies, and a heating system. After the students are finished the bio-diesel processor will be used on campus to reduce electricity needs for power from fossil fuels. Other REI projects involve the installation of solar panels in streetlights, the parking deck, and emergency phones on campus.
Fee: $12.50 per semester
In 2001, the student body of Connecticut College petitioned to raise student activity fees to $25.00s, with the intention of buying green power. In doing so, Connecticut College became the first college to buy a significant potion of green energy to meet its electrical needs. In December of 2003, Connecticut College agreed to purchase wind energy that would supplement 44% of its annual electricity from New York-based EAD-Environmental, doubling their previous commitment. When the fee was first collected, it was determined the money would be spent to purchase 17% wind power the first year, 22% the following year, and then 44% percent the third year.
Connecticut College also created an Environmental Model Committee (EMC). The EMC is made up of a diverse group of four faculty, four student, and fourteen staff positions. The faculty selected for the committee serve a two or three-year term. Two of the student positions are for SGA members and two are for students at-large, each serving a one-year term. The staff positions are for designated staff on campus, such as the Director of the Arboretum, Director of Physical Plant, Director of College Relations, and the Engineering Systems Manager.
The EMC drafted a green building policy, which states that all new buildings or renovations on campus will be built under specific green building guidelines. For example, buildings will be built with recycled materials and install systems that use alternative energy sources, plus, all construction must conducted under the rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. To supplement the green policy, a “green team” was also created. The team’s job is to work with architects and contractors to carry out the green building policy. They help with the pre-design, design, construction, and building operations phases of the projects. The EMC also conducts assessments of existing campus buildings to see if system/building renovations are needed to improve energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, all buildings will now be cleaned with green cleaning products and, if needed, be retrofitted with energy efficient systems for heating and lighting.
Along with the green building policy, the EMC has also started a renewable energy policy. The Energy Conservation and Efficiency Fund has improved the campus recycling system and has created a campus environmental coordinator position. In addition, the EMC is currently working on making a zero-interest loan fund that will provide money needed for energy efficiency upgrades and energy conservation campaigns. The money that is generated by energy cost savings will be re-invested into the fund.
Students at Connecticut College have also made an effort to urge the creation of a processing facility to convert dining hall waste oil into biodiesel, which will then be used in the campus’s transportation vehicles and for the heating in the Earth House. Students are also looking into using some of the fee funds to build a green energy generation facility. The revenue created from selling the electricity generated by the facility would also be re-invested into other green energy projects.
Evergreen State College
Fee: $1.00 per credit
Students at Evergreen State College voted in January of 2005 on a referendum to raise student fees by $1.00 per credit. The referendum passed overwhelmingly by 91%: 1102 yes to 112 no. The money raised by the fee will be used to purchase green tags, which include both wind and solar power.
Inspired by students at Western Washington University, who increased their fees by $19.00 per quarter to buy 100% green power for the campus, Evergreen students and community groups working with the Clean Coalition spearheaded their own initiative. Though unlike Western Washington University’s system, Evergreen State College divided the fee into two funds. Ten percent of the money raised will go to fund the development of renewable production on campus. The remaining 90% will be combined with faculty and staff donations to purchase the green tags. Evergreen State College also hopes to obtain 100% green power, which will allow them become the second college in the nation to do so.
Fee: $5.00 per semester (undergraduates only)
On December 6, 2004, students at Harvard University voted on a referendum to raise student fees $10.00 per year. The university’s Kennedy School of Government and the School of Public Health were already purchasing renewable energy with their own fee increases, but students now had the opportunity to make it campus-wide. The student body was asked to vote on if they supported a new energy fee and whether it should be opt-in, opt-out, or mandatory. The students voted 82% to support a mandatory fee.
The Harvard Environmental Action Committee (EAC) calculated that $10.00 per undergraduate student will pay for approximately four million-kiloWatt hours of renewable energy, which is about 25% of the university dorms’ consumption. With the money raised, the university is going to buy renewable energy certificates from somewhere else in the county. Therefore, most of the energy used on campus will still come from nuclear and fossil fuel plants in New England, while the certificates will be applied towards renewable energy sources in Texas and Colorado.
With the passage of the fee increase, the university President created the Renewable Energy Fund and the Green Building Loan Fund. The Renewable Energy Fund, which promotes the development of renewable energy on campus, will provide $100,000 per year for three years for renewable energy practices. A Renewable Energy Advisory Group, made up of students, faculty, and staff, will advise the EAC and the Harvard Green Campus Initiative on how to allocate funds.
The Green Building Loan Fund is for financial backing of high-performance building designs, innovative technologies in new buildings, and building renovations. The fund will finance the cost difference between a standard and high-performance building. Funds are interest free and are required to be paid back according to the rate at which savings are generated from the building project.
Fee: $1.00 per semester
For the 2004-05 academic year, $2.00 of the annual student activity fee paid by each student at Messiah College was taken to raise $11,200 toward the purchase of wind energy — approximately 2.5% of the college’s energy needs. The students voted again to do the same for the 2005-2006 academic year. Although, tuition has not yet been increased, the students have submitted a proposal to administrators describing a five-year wind energy program that calls for the purchase of 5% of the college’s energy needs. This incentive will lead to a $7.50 per student increase in fees.
Fee: $20.00 per semester
The students at Northland College voted in favor of a $20.00 per semester increase in fees for a Renewable Energy Fund. The graduating classes will decide how to spend the money collected from the year. The last graduating class decided to buy the college’s Admissions Office a Toyota Prius for driving around the country to promote the school. Previous seniors have allocated money for the McLean Environmental Living and Learning Center, which is residence for 114 students, and is powered by wind turbines and solar panels. The 120-foot wind tower creates 20 kilowatts of electricity, while the three arrays of solar panels generate 3.2 kilowatts – one of which heats most of the water for one part of the building. The building has two greenhouses as well as composting toilets, which are optional for use (there are also conventional toilets throughout the building). The goal for the McLean Center was to operate with 40% percent less outside energy than a dorm of the same size. The first year it dropped 34.2% and is expected to drop more over the next couple of years.
Other projects at Northland include the purchase of solar water panels to pre-heat water for the swimming pool, installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems for the largest building on campus, and replacement of an inadequate wind machine with a larger turbine. In addition, there is an octagonal classroom constructed by students from strawbales.
In the future, Northland plans to buy solar hot water heaters for a residence hall and to fund students researching grants for renewable energy. The student body at Northland hopes to make the university energy self-sustainable by 2020.
Fee: $10.00 per semester
In the spring of 2001, the Energy Affairs Council (EAC)was created by Tufts University to look into making the university’s polices energy efficient. Its focus is a long-term energy strategy that reduces the university’s energy and environmental costs, and increases the reliability of the energy systems. The council is composed of 20 members, including students and faculty representing each school. The EAC reports regularly to the University’s Administrative Council, which approves the EAC’s policies. The EAC also works closely with the Tufts Climate Initiative, which was created in 1999 to reduce CO2 emissions and their effects on the climate. The goal of the EAC and TCI is to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2012. The Tufts Climate Initiative policies include:
· 1. Lighting Efficiency Projects – Most residence halls and small houses have been installed with efficient lighting. Thus far, the university has upgraded 71% of their lighting with compact florescent lightbulbs. In addition, Tufts banned halogen torchieres use on campus in 1998.
· 2. Strategic Energy Plan
· 3. Emissions Inventory
· 4. Utility Rebate Program Participation – In all new construction and renovations, Tufts works with local electric utility rebate programs for efficient lighting, air conditioning, and ventilating equipment.
· 5. Boiler Modernizations and Fuel Switching
· 6. Energy Management Systems – Many of the university’s buildings contain an energy management system, which monitors and controls heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
· 7. Occupancy Sensor Projects – Occupancy sensors have been installed in six of campus buildings, which turn off the lights when no one is in a room..
· 8. Vending Misers – Vending misers are devices that adjust the compressor cycle and turn off lighting in vending machines, which saves energy. So far, the university has installed vending misers in most of the machines on their Medford and Grafton campuses.
· 9. Building Commissioning
· 10. Medford Steam Line Replacement Program – Every year, sections of the steam line are replaced to reduce leaks and increase efficiency.
· 11. Water Conservation Programs
· 12. Fairmount House Solar Panels – Tufts has installed two 250 kW solar panels on the Fairmount House, one of the residential wood frame houses on the Medford campus.
· 13. Grafton Wildlife Clinic – The Grafton Wildlife Clinic is equipped with a heat recovery system, advanced direct digital controls (DDC), and efficient lighting.
Tufts’ Environmental Consciousness Outreach (ECO) organization, along with TCI is working with the student body to bring wind power to campus. ECO is the organization that proposed the student fee increases to fund this project. With the extra $10.00 per semester, 60% of the university’s energy would be coming from wind power. To spread awareness and gain support, ECO posted 1,000 pinwheels on the ground of the President’s Lawn to mimic wind turbines.
University of California at Santa Cruz
Fees: $3.00 per semester
An environmental policy started at UC at Santa Cruz in 1998 when the Chancellor required the Millennium Committee to create principles that would allow the campus to become more sustainable. Continuing the environmental policy, USCS students formed the Student Environmental Center (SEC) in 2001. The committee was created with the goal of encouraging students to get involved with the university and implement environmentally sustainable practices on campus. In the spring of 2003, the SEC was crucial in the passage of Ballot Measure 9, the Campus Sustainability Programs Fee, which also created the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC). The money earned by the $3.00 fee goes to the CSC, and they determine where and how it will be used.
The CSC used some of the funds to create the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus in 2004. The Blueprint focuses on: campus food systems, waste prevention, transportation, green energy, long range planning, green building, curriculum, and campus ecosystem preservation. Designed after the Blueprint for a Green Campus at University of Colorado at Boulder, UCSC’s blueprint is a statement that commits the campus to sustainable practices.
Current projects on the UCSC campus include: the successful campaign for campus wide use of 100% post-consumer, recycled paper in all computer labs and the collaboration with Dining and Housing Services to develop purchasing guidelines which give priority to local providers and organic practices.
University of Colorado at Boulder
Fee: $1.00 per semester
In the spring of 2000, The University of Colorado at Boulder had the highest turnout rate in school history for the ballot initiative to increase student activity fees $1.00 per semester, for four years. The students passed the fee by a margin of five to one, leading CU to become the first college in the nation to pass an environmental fee. The increase in fees will raise around $50,000 per year, allowing for the purchase of the output of an entire wind turbine, creating 2 million kWh per year for three student-run buildings. As a result of buying wind energy, the campus will be able to lower campus emissions of CO2 by 2.8 million pounds per year.
The campaign for the fee started with the university’s Environmental Center. The Environmental Center surveyed the students to assess their opinions on environmental issues and, also, to see if they would support a fee increase for environmentally conscious materials and services. Most of the students stated that they would support the purchase of wind energy for the campus along with a fee increase. Sixty percent of the students supported a fee increase of $1.00 or more per semester. Half of the students surveyed said they would support a $3.00 increase in fees. In addition, eighty-eight percent of the students believed that the university should buy green energy instead of building a new power plant.
The CU Environmental Center and the Student Government drafted an environmental plan called a Blueprint for a Green Campus to help the campus become more sustainable and also meet the emission reduction goals set by the Kyoto Protocol by 2010. The Blueprint includes a section on creating a climate-friendly campus and allowing for growth without increasing traffic problems. As the campus grows, so does the need for parking spaces and facilities. In order to address the potential transportation issues, the Blueprint calls for a program that urges students to take mass transit, walk, or use hybrid cars to get to campus. It also calls for replacement of university buses with new, cleaner burning diesel buses in order to lower CO2 levels.
Pertaining to new buildings, designs will include “low- wattage lighting systems, envelope insulation, high-performance glazing systems, efficient cooling systems featuring evaporative cooling where appropriate, and microprocessor-based temperature controls.” Also, over time, older buildings will be renovated to the same standards required in the new buildings. The money that is saved as a result of the energy saving systems will be used for further projects in this area, mostly renovation in the form of heat recovery systems, window films, and high-efficiency motors.
A current project at the University of Colorado is the renovation of their recreation center. “Upgrades, retrofits and modifications in lighting systems, ice rink and pool facilities, water meters, fan controls and utility tracking systems are expected to yield energy savings of more than $40,000 annually.”
Many universities model their sustainability plan after the University of Colorado’s Blueprint.
University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
Fee: $2.00 per semester
In March of 2003, sixty-nine percent of the students at University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign voted yes to a referendum increasing student fees by $2.00. The fee will raise between $140,000 to $160,000 annually and will fund solar, wind, hydrogen, geothermal, and biomass power, in addition to other energy efficient technologies. Students for Environmental Concerns proposed the renewable energy program and the referendum to the Campus Sustainability Committee, to faculty and staff, and to the student government.
Currently, the Students for Environmental Concerns is working on building of one to three wind turbines on one of the farms owned by the university. Each wind turbine will cost around $2 million each and can provide 1% of the campus’s electrical energy usage, which equals to over 396 million kWh. The energy created by the wind turbines will be added to the power generated by their power plant.
Other projects the Students for Environmental Concerns is working on are expanding recycling, increasing campus clean energy, and encouraging local businesses to follow environmental sustainability. Every year the SEC conducts programs that include environmental education in local schools, environmental volunteering at road and river clean-ups, and planning the earth day activities that will occur on campus.
University of Kansas
Fee: $3.00 per semester, $1.50 per summer semester
In 1997, University of Kansas students supported an increase in tuition of $1.00 per semester, followed by an increase to $2.00 in 2002, then to $3.00 in 2004 to fund the Environmental Stewardship Programs (ESP). The money allows ESP to hire part-time students and pay for some operating expenses, while administrative funds are used for full-time staff and other expenses not covered by the fee. Currently, the ESP employs 10 student Recycling Technicians, one full-time program manager, and one full-time general maintenance and repair technician. Recycling Technicians collect office paper, newspaper, aluminum cans, steel cans, #1 PETE plastic bottles, #2 plastic bottles, and cardboard from educational and administrative buildings, residence halls, and apartment complexes. They also collect surplus property and computers.
A large part of University of Kansas’ environmental program is focused on recycling. There are currently 10 recycling projects, plus a composing pilot project in effect. The recycling projects include: deskside recycling, America Recycles, Tailgate Green, residence hall recycling, outdoor recycling bins, e-waste recycling, Earth Day, and furniture recycling.
In the fall of 2004, the Office of the Provost created the Sustainability Task Force to research making the university more environmentally sustainable . The Task Force evaluated the campus environmental policy and existing resources, then made the following recommendations to the Provost: within the next 18 months, create a Center for Sustainability; appoint a new Committee on the Environment with the duty to establish goals and timelines for implementing environmental policy; and create committee to look into the purchase of green tags.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Fee: $4.00 per semester
In February 2003, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill became the first institution of higher learning in the southeast region to pass a renewable energy referendum that raised student fees $4.00 per semester, creating approximately $200,000 per year.
The campaign started in September of 2002, when the Student Environmental Action Coalition and the Carolina Environmental Student Alliance decided to work together to bring renewable energy to UNC. At first, the groups surveyed the students to see if they were willing to pay for the campus to use renewable energy. After gaining a positive reaction and creating a plan based on the environmental blueprint at University of Colorado at Boulder, the coalition brought the referendum to the Student Congress in November 2002.
At UNC Chapel Hill, all student fee increases must be voted on by the student body and receive the majority of the vote to pass. The Student Congress approved the referendum and placed it on the February 2003 ballot. The Student Congress also created a bill stating that, if the referendum passed, a committee, called the Renewable Energy Special Project Committee (RESPC) and containing both students and faculty, would be formed to decide the allocation of the funds created by the fee increase. During the following three months, the coalition worked on promoting the referendum to the student body through events, signs, posters, door-to-door canvassing, and speeches. On February 11th, student lead referendum passed with 74.5 percent approval from the student body. Upon passing, the fee increase had to be approved by the Student Fee Audit Committee and the Chancellor’s Committee on Student Fees, then it had to be approved by the Board of Trustees of the University and the UNC Board of Governors. All of the committees approved the fee increase for the start of the 2004-2005 school year.
In April, following the approval of the referendum, the RESPC was created by the legislation. The Student Body President, the Graduate and Professional Student Federation President, and the Speaker of Student Congress chose the members of the committee, and then the committee was approved by congress. The committee is comprised of the Student Body Presidents, who select two student members; the Speaker of Congress, who selects one student chair and two student members; and the Graduate and Professional Student President, who selects two student members. Once the student committee is determined, the campus Sustainability Coordinator, the Director of Energy Services, the Vice Chancellor of Campus Services, and a few faculty advise the committee.
The RESPC’s first order of business was to commit $184,000 towards the renovation of Morrison Residence Hall. The money will be used to purchase solar thermal panels for heating water. RESPC also worked with the members of Facilities Planning and Housing to obtain a grant form the State Energy Office to purchase additional solar panels for the building.
The referendum stated that the Green Energy Fee must be renewed every two years, and in the spring of 2005, the fee was up for a revote, including a change that would allow them to renew the fee every four years instead of two. Again, the fee and the new timeline passed by 85% of the student body.
University of the South
Fee: $45.00 per year
In the winter of 2003 and the spring of 2004, a student-led education campaign was created to inform people about environmental sustainability and to gain support of a fee increase to purchase green energy for the campus. In March 2004, the students of the Green Power Coalition presented a resolution to the Student Assembly and the Faculty Senate. The students called for a 5% purchase of renewable energy the first year, 10% the following year, and 15% the third year. The resolution passed both governing bodies, allowing an increase in student fees of $15.00 in 2005-06, $30.00 in 2006-07, and $45.00 in 2007-08.
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Fee: $8.00 per semester
The University of Tennessee’s Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK) started a campaign in the fall of 2003 to educate the student body about energy issues and sustainable practices relating to the university and the surrounding area. After the campaign, the students petitioned the campus to add a referendum to the 2004 SGA ballot, which called for an $8.00 per semester fee to purchase green energy, produce on-site energy, and create energy efficiency and conservation measures. The initiative passed by a vote of 60%.
Passage of the referendum lead to the creation of the Clean Energy Initiative. Half the money generated by the Initiative will be used to buy into the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Power Switch program, the southeast’s largest program for renewable energy production, allowing UT at Knoxville to buy about 4,500 green power blocks – 635,000 kWh. A quarter of the funds would be used to promote energy conservation and efficiency on campus through facilities management projects. The other quarter of the funds would be used to generate renewable energy on campus via solar panels, etc.
University of Virginia
Fee: $7.00 per semester
During the Fall 2004 elections, University of Virginia students voted to add an extra $7.00 fee per semester to buy 33 million kWh of wind energy. The referendum passed by 85%. The money raised will be used to buy wind energy credits in California, which will be applied towards another institution’s energy program.
· News: Historical Energy Referendum Passed by University of Illinois Students
· UIUC Environmental Council
· Student Environmental Center
· News: Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
· Harvard Green Campus Initiative
· Evergreen Clean Energy Coalition
· EAD Environmental
Chris Colbert, Undergraduate Campus-wide Representative
Chris Colbert is a 4th year Environmental Studies student and undergrad student at large representative for TGIF. He is a general member of the Student Food Collective OSL group on campus and assisted in applying for a TGIF grant last winter that was successfully funded. He is interested in the community involvement and environmental sustainability of our campus and look forward to reviewing this year’s projects!
Max Broad, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Representative
Max Broad is a 2nd year master’s student studying climate policy at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. Originally from Oakland, Broad has spent time living in Washington DC, Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. After graduating, Broad hopes to join a local or international NGO where he can help develop policy to fight climate change.As an undergraduate at UC Irvine, Broad played an integral role in getting his university to adopt TGIF. In the process he learned a great deal about how UCSB, TGIF’s mother campus, implemented the initiative. After having started a chapter of TGIF over two years ago, sitting on the board is truly a dream.
Rebecca Hausheer, Graduate Student Association Representative
Rebecca Hausheer earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007. Before returning to UCSB for her Master’s degree, she spent 3 years working and volunteering abroad. Among her most memorable travel experiences were assisting marine biologists collect data on the Mesoamerican Reef in Honduras and teaching English to students in Japan. At the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Rebecca is specializing in Energy & Climate and Corporate Environmental Management. Rebecca is interested in reducing the carbon footprint of individuals and communities through renewable energy use and energy efficiency measures. She spent the summer of 2012 with Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) as a Green Housing and Sustainable Community Development Intern in Marin, California. In this capacity, she worked on grant proposals to facilitate renewable energy deployment, collected baseline measures for climate action plans for various municipalities, and developed educational material for residents in buildings that recently underwent energy efficiency upgrades. Upon completion of her Master’s degree in June 2012, she hopes to build upon her experiences and help build a cleaner energy future.
Jasmine Syed, TGIF Grants Manager (2010-2012)
Jasmine Syed joined Administrative Services as the Campus Sustainability Coordinator in May of 2011. After graduating with a B.A. from UC Berkeley, Jasmine worked for three years in UCSB’s capital development and project planning division. Jasmine is responsible for managing the university’s emissions inventory, sustainability reporting, The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), the Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee, sustainability special projects and publicity/outreach.