The Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) was initiated as a collaborative, statewide, student-led campaign in 2007. With support from USF Tampa’s Office of Sustainability, key faculty and staff and various student organizations, students championed the SGEF proposition through the USF Board of Trustees and the Florida Board of Governors (BOG).
At USF St. Petersburg, SGEF is financed through a nominal student fee of $1.00 per credit hour. Students at each campus within the University of South Florida (USF) System has the right to vote, via a student body referendum, to approve initiation of the fee and affirm any subsequent modifications to it on their respective campuses. Every three years, students will have the opportunity to reaffirm support of the fee via referendum. The last referendum was passed in 2017 with an 88% approval.
The fund is used to assist the university in reducing energy costs through conservation, by promoting power generation using clean, renewable energy technologies and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. After an extensive analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, transportation usage, energy supply and demand as well as solid waste management, SGEF alongside the City of St. Petersburg, developed the Climate Action Plan guiding the university and the city to reach their sustainability goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Current projects aimed at reducing energy usage, solid waste and transportation emissions include:
- 100 kW solar array on the top of the parking garage
- 40 kW solar carport
- Ceramic window film on the RHO dorms blocking 81% of infrared rays and 99.9% ultraviolet rays
- Bike share program
- A zero waste initiative allocating 20 extra recycling bins
- Bayboro food forest
- Tower garden
Any student at USFSP can propose a project, and the SGEF committee votes on which projects to fund. SGEF catalyzes a growing experiential learning model that eviscerates student leadership and creative energy towards a noble and necessary goal.
For more on SGEF and meeting time information contact TJ Broecker.