Investing in energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy solutions can lead to significant cost savings for nonprofits and help achieve their missions more effectively. MEO and Elevate Energy are two organizations leading the way in identifying areas of opportunity for energy and cost savings in Shiawassee County nonprofits through their partnership with the C.S. Mott Foundation Grant and the Nonprofit Capacity Building Energy Efficiency Program offered by the Cook Family Foundation.
DeVries Nature Conservancy, located in Shiawassee County, Michigan, is one nonprofit that benefited from MEO and Elevate Energy’s expertise. The Conservancy’s main nature center building, community farm, and two large pole barns were consuming a significant amount of energy, leading to a monthly utility bill of $230.
MEO and Elevate Energy provided an assessment of the Conservancy’s buildings and offered a customized report highlighting the most cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades. The report included estimates of costs, savings, and payback times for the recommended upgrades. Among the selected upgrades were an LED lighting retrofit and solar installation, which were financed through a lease agreement with Chart House Energy, with no upfront cost to the DeVries Nature Conservancy.
Chart House Energy utilized ITC solar tax credit and depreciation of equipment to finance the project. After year six, DeVries Nature Conservancy will buy out Chart House Energy and own the system to realize savings for the duration of the equipment lifetime over 25 years.
We believe MEO and Elevate Energy’s work with DeVries Nature Conservancy is an excellent example of how energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy solutions can benefit nonprofits. By providing customized energy assessments and highlighting areas for cost savings, MEO and Elevate Energy help nonprofits become more financially stable, allowing them to focus on achieving their missions effectively.