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Energy Efficiency Opportunities and Hurdles in Non-profit Community Facilities
The Low Income Investment Fund commissioned this report to summarize the findings of a study conducted by Pratt Center for Community Development and Bright Power, Inc., that sought to gain insight into the needs, appetite and capacity of nonprofits to implement energy upgrades in community facilities and assess their interest in debt financing of these upgrades. The report suggests that energy efficiency retrofits of nonprofit facilities would increase and improve if financing, energy assessments, and assistance in implementation of retrofit measures were offered as a package.
Ten facilities, of varying size and age, were visited, surveyed, and offered energy assessments through existing energy efficiency incentive programs. These facilities fell into three use categories: family/youth/daycare/senior; shelter/soup kitchen;and educational.
Barriers to implementing retrofit measures are related to access to information, capacity, lack of expertise and limited funding. Facilities managers are generally not aware of the incentive programs already available to them. Many of the organizations in the study are hampered by a lack of staff time and expertise. It is not clear that existing incentive programs cover the financing gaps faced by nonprofit facilities.
Recent developments in financing products offered (or to be offered) by NYSERDA seem potentially well positioned to assist facilities with small capital needs. Other innovations in financial products, such as energy savings insurance, are promising. However, most facilities seem to need relatively small sums ($10,000--‐$50,000) to complete energy upgrades that would generate 20--‐25% savings in energy related expenditures.
A comprehensive technical assistance program to can help facilities manage energy conservation combined with incentives and financing that responds to their needs would significantly increase the number of facilities implementing energy upgrades. Aggregation of facilities into a cooperative for energy services purchasing may be able to provide a self—sustaining way to reduce energy costs. Sharing information and cost may enable non-profit facilities to effectively implement retrofit measures.
To download and read the entire report click on the pdf below.