HSU Wordmark



Zimride is a great way to get around the city or find rides in and out of town, all while saving our environment from CO2 at the same time!

HSU Zimride >>

Eight idea papers were submitted in Spring of 2014, seven of which were approved by the committee. 

Learn More >>

GOT AN IDEA? Email us! heif+ideas@humboldt.edu

       instagramIcon 400x400      

News and Events

HEIF is Hiring:

We are looking for applications! Looking for eight student positions. Stay posted for more information.

We have an Outreach Manager!

If you have questions or want to learn more about HEIF, contact our Outreach Manager, Julia: heif+julia@humboldt.edu.

Also you can visit the HEIF office in Facilities Management 105 on Wednesday afternoons from 2 - 4.

HEIF Committee Meetings

Meetings are always open to the entire campus community and attendance is encouraged! Meeting times for Spring 2015 are every other Wednesday at 11-12. Meetings are held in NHE 120.

Idea Papers due March 5

If you need help developing your idea, you can attend one of our Brainstorming Sessions, read through our Idea Paper section here, or send us an e-mail.

Become a HEIF Voting Member

Don't have time for a part-time job but still want to get involved? Every fall semester, up to 3 student voting positions open up on the HEIF Committee, and are appointed by Associated Students. The Committee is made up of student, staff, and faculty voting & non-voting members, with a student majority. Ultimately, it is the Committee that decides where HEIF money is allocated.

Fill out an online application through AS!



What is HEIF?

The Humboldt Energy Independence Fund (HEIF) is an energy conservation fund created by an HSU student initiative in 2004. Every student pays $12/semester and the money is allocated to student-proposed conservation projects like solar panels, water bottle hydration stations, compost bins, lighting retrofits, etc.

The process is as follows: At the beginning of the Spring semester we host brainstorming events to foster new project ideas that we can fund and implement. We then accept short idea submissions from students, and the HEIF Committee then votes on which ideas will be developed into full grant proposals. To write these, we hire student development teams over the Spring semester and assign them a mentor. Finally, the HEIF Committee awards funding to the feasible projects, which are then implemented by Plant Operations staff and/or HSU students, depending on the proposal.

HEIF's mission is to reduce the environmental impact of energy use at Humboldt State University through student-driven projects.


Development Team Interns for Fall 2015


HEIF is hiring for students that will participate on development teams for Fall 2015. Development teams will be responsible for writing proposals associated with energy efficiency projects on campus that have been brought forth by other students. Students will gain experience working with mentors and management at Facilities on campus. Candidates must be self-motivated and able to work within deadlines with little direct supervision.

Desired Skills   

  • A background in energy efficiency

  • Ability to work independently

  • Ability to communicate effectively

  • Ability to work with others

  • Experience doing technical research and technical writing

  • Ability to research and learn new material and industry language

  • Basic understanding of lighting technologies (CFL, LED, etc.)

  • Basic understanding of energy metering (kilowatts, kilowatt-hours, therms)

Job Logistics

  • Openings: 1


  • Pay: $10-$12 / hour

  • Duration: 13 weeks, prefer full academic year

  • Schedule: 8-10 hours per week, flexible times

  • Position contingent on funding

Project Descriptions

LED lights in Gist and JVD Theaters

    This project would oversee and implement the installation of LED stage lights in Humboldt State University’s two theater auditoriums. These would replace the current lighting systems within the theaters.

LED Wall Pack Lighting   

Virtual Green Office

Housing Exterior Lighting

CCAT Zero Net Energy

Dual Flush Toilets


Application Instructions

If you’re interested in having a great experience with HEIF, please send a resume AND cover letter in PDF form to heif@humboldt.edu with the position title in the subject line of the email. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at the provided email. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you.

Current Projects in Development

Reusable Dishware

Submitted by: Adrienne Spitzer

New vending machines are coming soon to campus! They will be stocked with reusable dishware for use in the dining areas or to take home. This is a great idea and a great way to get rid of a large section of common food waste. You simply pay the machine and it will give you a plate. When you return it you will be given a token for your next use. It's that simple and that easy.

Dorm Energy Monitoring

Submitted by: Matthew Collins and Zachary Ruiz

By placing a monitor on each of the dorms we can see how much energy each one is using. It would also install a central display of energy usage so that students can see how much they use. This is a great educational tool for students and it would also allow for competitions between dorms and cooperative consumption!

Towels Equals Trees: Phase II

Submitted by: Juliene Wintermute, James Robinson, and Kira Rose

Using two high-tech hand dryers HSU already owns, we will remove paper towels from two more bathrooms on campus. Each will replace a paper towel roll which is changed almost daily and allow students to blow dry instead of killing trees. There will also be less garbage and less risk of recyclable material being thrown in the trash.

Building Energy Monitoring

Monitoring the energy use of buildings on campus is necessary to establish a baseline for energy consumption. In order to begin addressing issues, we need to better understand what we are facing. In coordination with other campus departments HEIF will support the installation of energy monitoring equipment on all of HSU's buildings.

Interior LED Lighting Retrofit

Out with the old and in with the new! Light bulbs are a great way to save on energy costs because of how simple and easy it is to make a change. LEDs are famous for their low energy use and lighting efficiency so we are looking to replace the out of date sections of our campus. A few areas on campus have already been taken care of, but there's much more to do.

Natural History Museum PV Reinstall

Submitted by: Lori Jones

This project will use the panels and other equipment currently sitting in storage at HSU and use them to nearly completely compensate for the museums energy needs. An educational and interactive display will also be installed to teach people more about solar energy and how it works. This will serve as another great example of HSU students giving back to their community and also doing it's part to help reduce energy consumption. 

Our Latest Projects

Compost Bins

Compost Bins3

Awarded: $6,274.23

Submitted by: Kathleen Robinson, Emily Creegan, NIcholas Tringale, and Stacie Bartram

Look for new permanent compost bins on campus.  Save your banana peels and apple cores to contribute to our campus compost.  Composting not only diverts from the landfill, but creates a nutrient rich soil additive that is used on campus landscaping and is available to the community.  See the sign on the bins for a list of accepted materials.

Water Bottle Refill Stations

Awarded: $7,000
Submitted by: Jessica Lamb and Victor Reuther

There are now new water bottle refill stations installed on ten water fountains across campus.  Every time you refill your water bottle, it saves energy that is embedding in producing the bottles,  transporting the water, and even recycling the plastic. 

High Efficiency Faucet Aerators

Awarded: $3,000
Submitted by: Jessica Lamb and Victor Reuther

This proposal proves every little bit matters.  By changing campus restroom aerators from a flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute to 0.5 gallons per minute the campus will save 1,200 therms of natural gas annually.  Using less water means heating less water. This project has been estimated to save HSU almost $5,500 a year! It also shows how little changes can make a large impact!

Recycling Behavior Study

Recycling Bin

Awarded: $7,000
Submitted by: Oscar Azucena and Joel Bautista

In an effort to better understand recycling behavior HEIF is funding a waste diversion study.  This study is recording behavior response to different collection methods and container labels to find the most effective combination.  Together with student effort we hope to realize the highest 100% recycling diversion from classroom buildings on campus.