Energy-efficiency measures are often associated with higher up-front cost. Tufts has established a loan fund to pay for such energy upgrades. Energy upgrades with a payback of about 5 years or better are financed through this energy fund. The calculated energy savings are fed back into the fund. Tufts has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last 5 years. Projects include lighting upgrades (motions sensors and efficient lighting), steam traps, boiler replacements and HVAC upgrades.
Revolving loans are ideal for financing energy projects with a short payback. The down side to limiting the financing to projects with a quick payback is that it will be harder in the future to finance energy upgrades with a higher pay back. Bundling of long-term and short-term projects is more difficult when most of the ‘low-hanging fruit’ have already been picked.
On the positive side, this fund has enabled Tufts to quickly implement projects that have very large financial and CO2 benefits.