Any Cornell community member can apply to implement a project that reduces energy or creates a culture of energy conservation on campus. | Photo: Carl Kikso

New grant seeks to fund creative campus energy projects

With over 20 years of deep investments in energy conservation on campus, facilities staff are seeking creative partnerships with the campus community to identify new ways to save energy.

The Campus Energy Reduction Grant program will provide up to $1,000 for a project that demonstrably reduces energy or create a culture of energy-saving and sustainability in a specific space on campus. For instance, a laboratory group may apply to upgrade a freezer with a more energy-efficient model. An academic department could purchase energy-saving Cozy Toes space heaters for all employees.

Community members have a new opportunity to create a carbon-neutral campus by identifying energy-saving projects in residences, offices, labs, shops, and other buildings on campus.  Projects also have the potential for other sustainability or work benefits, such as greater efficiency and comfort.

Grants are funded by the Energy & Sustainability Department and Campus Sustainability Office. The program builds on several decades of investing in large-scale energy-saving measures on campus through the Energy Conservation Initiative (ECI).  ECI projects have eliminated 254,000 metric tons of carbon from the campus greenhouse gas footprint and saved over $58 million to date.

"We need creative, crowd-sourced ideas for where we can squeeze out additional energy savings," said Kim Anderson, engagement manager in the Campus Sustainability Office. 

"If you have an idea that will make your space more comfortable, and reduce energy, we want to work with you."

Proposals will be evaluated based on their overall effectiveness in energy reduction, cost-effectiveness, the potential for education and engagement, and approval and support from appropriate department leaders, team members, and Facilities Managers.  

All members of the campus community are welcome to apply.  Applications are due February 18th, 2022.

Learn more and submit an application at sustainablecampus.cornell.edu.