Historically, UCSB and its students have been known for their environmental advocacy. Over the past year, students at UCSB have succeeded at:
- Conceptualizing a process by which the campus and students could collaborate to fund new campus solar arrays capable of generating at least 1 megawatt of electricity.
- Enrolling the participation of senior management to develop a financial arrangement that would redirect energy cost savings to student–directed sustainability initiatives.
- Forming a student majority Renewable Energy Initiatives Governance Board (REI) to manage the $3.4 million that will be collected in student fees, beginning last year.
- Obtaining project support from campus committees, which include experts in clean and renewable energy: Dr. Mel Manalis and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Walter Kohn.
- Enlisting Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas Company in efforts to transition to sustainable energy resources and increase energy efficiencies.
- Zero Net Energy (ZNE) for all Student Affairs buildings
UCSB Student Affairs has a fixed utility budget that is subject to future increases in the cost of energy. Once Zero Net Energy is achieved, UCSB will gain $1.2 million dollars annually to apply to the Student Affairs budget for valuable services including: student health, financial aid and education, presently at risk due to budget cuts. Zero Net Energy means energy efficiency improvements combined with on site energy generation that results in no net purchases from the electricity or gas grid on an annual basis.
- LEED-EBOM Platinum rating for all Student Affairs buildings.
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Building Operations and Maintenance)