What We Learned at Erie’s Latest Green Event

In January, Green Building Alliance and The Nonprofit Partnership jointly hosted a seminar called “Lights Out” at SafeNet’s French Street office. The event offered a case study and presentation for nonprofit organizations hoping to reduce energy use and save money. Here’s what we learned…

SafeNet is an Erie-based nonprofit that provides services to people victimized by domestic violence and relationship abuse. The organization has been providing services for 40 years and offers each of its programs free of charge.

As with all nonprofits, a dollar saved is one that does not have to be raised, and SafeNet recently focused on ways to cut energy costs. The organization partnered with Global Green Technologies, Inc., an Erie-based company specializing in LED lighting, to assess its 22,000-square-foot office. Following a Global Green audit and LED presentation, SafeNet determined that it could replace its building’s T-12 lighting with significant energy savings and no loss in quality.

In order to take advantage of all possible rebates, nonprofits must act before April 15 of this year.

In order to make the project as cost-effective as possible, SafeNet also obtained a $10,000 Erie Community Foundation grant. Coupled with a $5,200 Act 129 rebate, the organization foresees a project payback in 3.8 years, with at least $5,000 in annual savings to accrue  thereafter.

Along with representatives from SafeNet and Global Green, Pat Herr from the Erie Community Foundation spoke at the seminar and encouraged other local nonprofits to follow this innovative project. In order to take advantage of all possible rebates, however, nonprofits must act before April 15 of this year. We at GBA think this project is a great example of several local organizations working together to save energy, as well as a model of how to keep a very important community resource such as SafeNet sustainable for years to come.

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