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Green Revolving Loan Fund

The green revolving loan fund (RLF) is a $300,000 fund for energy and resource conservation projects at Middlebury College.

The fund will provide loans for campus projects that have quantifiable savings and which meet return on investment criteria. Savings generated by these projects will be reinvested into the fund until the loan is paid in full plus one additional payment, enabling the fund to grow and finance more projects.

Successful loan projects will reduce annual operating expenses, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, decrease energy costs, and engage students, staff and faculty in the effort to reduce energy use and raise environmental awareness. 

Please click on the questions below to learn more about the objectives and procedures of the fund.

How to Apply

To propose a project, please download the application form below, complete it according to the instructions below, and submit it to Jack Byrne , Director of the Sustainability Integration Office. The RLF Advisory Committee meets as needed to review applications.

RLF Application FormRLF Application Form  

Frequently Ask Questions

Who can use the fund?

Everyone can! Any student, faculty, or staff member can apply to use the fund provided that they have the support of any department that would be responsible for carrying out the proposed project and repaying the loan from savings.

What can the fund be used for?

The fund may be used for any project that supports sustainability or energy conservation that ultimately results in savings.  It is intended that the energy savings will be utilized to repay the loans, however, applicants must commit to set payment schedules.

How is the fund managed?

The Director of Sustainability will coordinate activities related to the Middlebury Revolving Loan Fund. The Director will review loan applications for completeness, verify payback analysis, and prepare applications for review by the Middlebury Revolving Loan Fund Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee consists of the Director of Sustainability Integration Office, Director of Facilities, Director of Budget Office, Director of Business Services, students, and a faculty member

The Advisory Committee will review and recommend the appropriate action for each loan application to the Vice President of Finance. The Advisory Committee will also manage the loan fund balance and determine appropriate loan criteria to maintain a positive balance in the loan fund.

What are the loan criteria?

· Maximum award quantity - $300,000 total is available for MRLF projects in the first year.

· Minimum award amount - Loan requests should be at least $5,000 or greater. 

· Maximum single award amount - There is no set maximum loan amount. The maximum single loan amount in the first year is anticipated to be about $100,000. Future year loan restrictions will be based upon the success of past projects, the quantity of loan applications, the total amount of loans, and the funding available in the MRLF. 

· Duration of the Loan - projects should be completed within two years. No projects may be proposed that cannot be completed within 2 years from the loan approval.

· Payback criteria or loan criteria - Projects that payback in five years and less are preferred. Longer payback periods will be considered. Projects can be bundled to accomplish an average payback period in the five or less range as well (e.g., a two year payback and a seven year payback for comparable loan amounts would average a 4.5 year payback).

Is there interest on loans from the Revolving Loan Fund?

Loan recipients will be required to make one additional payment in the year following payback of the loan. Ninety percent of the last payment will be used to increase the amount of funding available in the MRLF, 10% will go into a discretionary fund for the department (in most cases Facilities) to spend on sustainable initiatives such as professional development. 

Where do the continued savings go once the loan is paid back?

It is expected that most projects will generate savings on utility bills paid by Facilities (since departments do not pay their own utility bills). Once the loan is paid off, 10% of the additional savings will go into a discretionary fund to be used by the department (Facilities in most cases) for sustainable initiatives such as professional development for two years after the loan is paid back. The remainder of the savings will go into the College's general fund. 

Who determines what the payback is?

The applicant needs to include a preliminary payback analysis as part of the application. The Director of Sustainability will review the likely project payback and will provide a final payback analysis for determination of funding. The MRLF Advisory Committee will make the final recommendation on loan awards. For projects that involve electricity savings applicants should consult with Tim Perrin, Middlebury’s representative at Efficiency Vermont. They can provide expertise and monitoring/verification assistance in many cases. 

Can payback be aggregated?

For projects with several identifiable components, payback may be aggregated to meet the total project payback criteria. 

Can I change out capital project funding for deferred maintenance with a loan?

Not at this time. New construction and major remodeling projects will not initially be eligible for MRLF funding. 

Can the Revolving Loan Fund be used to fund feasibility studies?

The RLF does not make loans to do feasibility studies. However, if an applicant is applying for a loan to do a project for which a feasibility study has been done, they may include the cost of the study in the loan amount to recover the cost of the study if the project is successful in receiving a loan.

How often can someone apply?

Applicants may apply as often as they wish. However, no one applicant may have more than two projects in design and/or construction at any one time. Exceptions may be made if requests for funding are below the announced funding available in any single loan application cycle. 

Questions can be directed to the Director of the Sustainability Integration Office at 802-443-5043 or

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753