MassDevelopment today announced a $2 million structured financing placement in Mass College Green, a pilot program aimed at accelerating the adoption of energy efficiency measures by Massachusetts independent colleges.
Leveraging an innovative financing model developed by GreenerU, Inc., MassDevelopment's investment will support energy efficiency upgrades at Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) member facilities throughout the Commonwealth.
"We are excited about the opportunity to drive improvements in energy infrastructure at Massachusetts colleges and universities through Mass College Green," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "This pilot program will demonstrate how innovative financing efforts focused on energy efficiency can provide immediate and long-term benefits to colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth. The savings generated from these initial projects will kick-start deeper energy efficiency investment and allow the campuses to achieve even greater reductions in utility costs."
"AICUM and our members are pleased to join in partnership with MassDevelopment and GreenerU to find ways to enhance sustainability efforts on our campuses," said Richard Doherty, AICUM president. "Mass College Green offers an excellent opportunity for our members and can serve as a national model for reducing energy consumption and costs on college campuses, allowing more funds to be available for student programs and services.
Similar to popular solar power purchase agreement offerings, the Mass College Green program has no upfront costs for participating colleges. During the five-year contract term, schools pay only for delivered energy efficiency. Schools do not pay for equipment or installation, so they bear no risk of a project underperforming. GreenerU, as the implementation partner, oversees a rigorous process that begins with a preliminary feasibility assessment; data gathering, budgeting, and sustainability goal setting; and concludes with an operational project that will deliver energy efficiency and sustainability benefits to each participating campus during and after the five-year contract term.
"GreenerU is pleased to be working with MassDevelopment and AICUM in launching this groundbreaking energy efficiency initiative for colleges and universities in Massachusetts," said Rob Pratt, founder and CEO of GreenerU. "Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way for colleges to lower utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With available funding sources at campuses stretched in so many ways, we must pursue new approaches in bringing energy efficiency online faster. The Commonwealth has long been a leader in advancing energy efficiency nationally, and GreenerU is proud to be a part of this history of innovation going forward."
MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2012, MassDevelopment financed or managed 280 projects generating investment of more than $2.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 12,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 900 residential units. For more information about MassDevelopment, please visit www.massdevelopment.com.
About the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM)
Established in 1967, AICUM is the leading voice on public policy matters affecting independent colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. Comprising 60 degree granting, accredited, private, and non-profit colleges and universities, AICUM works closely with member institutions to preserve and strengthen higher education and to promote awareness of the significant contributions by colleges and universities to the cultural, economic, and knowledge-based reputation of the state. For more information please visit www.aicum.org.
GreenerU, Inc. leverages innovative financing to deliver integrated energy and sustainability solutions to campuses throughout New England. GreenerU's energy engineers and sustainability specialists partner with campuses to implement energy efficiency upgrades and building occupant engagement programs to achieve tangible reductions in energy use, utility costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more at www.GreenerU.com.