Jean Pullen, P.E.
Track C | Energy Manager's Summit
Nonprofit organizations often occupy inefficient buildings that waste energy and water. Frequently, these nonprofits do not have facility managers trained in resource-efficient operational practices, and even fewer understand general environmental sustainability strategies. When they do, many nonprofits lack the capital to make substantive efficiency improvements. The resulting financial and operational burdens can negatively impact a nonprofit’s capacity to advance its core mission. With foundation funding, the Energy & Water Efficiency Program Pilot (EWEP) has demonstrated the economic and environmental benefits of high-impact energy and water efficiency improvements in 14 Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) facilities in the Southeast. Strategies for improvement included comparative benchmarking, facility assessments, technical assistance during project implementation, ongoing communications with building managers, competitive engagement using the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Building Competition, and reporting on individual and portfolio-wide savings statistics. Results to date indicate a significant opportunity for reducing utilities costs, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions by about 30%, and water use by 50%, all with a return on total project investment of about 15%. According to Leisa Smith, executive director of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, “the average $1,000 monthly savings on utility costs at our Fuqua Boys and Girls Club will allow us to serve a dozen additional children each year. Plus, the comfort, safety and maintenance benefits of the improvements provide additional value. And our boys and girls engaged in the project, learning about saving energy and water, recycling and other green measures.”
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