Center for Prevention of Abuse, Peoria, Ill.
During the past year since I, Kim Farlin, began my employment as the maintenance coordinator, I have worked with the newly created Green committee to implement several changes. I contacted the local utility company, AmerenCilco, in regard to their ActOnEnergy program. With the help from a fellow Green committee member, I applied for the E-Smart programmable thermostats through the ActOnEnergy program and, without any cost for labor or parts to the Center for Prevention of Abuse, AmerenCilco paid to have 5 E-Smart HVAC thermostats installed.
The thermostats have helped to control heating and cooling costs because it allows for thermostat temperatures to be adjusted depending on occupancy or non-occupancy times. Shortly after the creation of the Green committee, we developed a new recycling program, installing seven recycling stations throughout the buildings on the office complex. This greatly reduced the amount of trash disposed of in the dumpsters allowing the trash disposal to drop from five-day-pick-up service to two-day-pick-up service per week. The center now has onsite recycling dumpsters, one for cardboard and one for single stream recycling.
During the past year, a volunteer with the Green committee mentioned that she was interested in helping to reduce lighting costs. With her monetary donation, I purchased and installed 18 automatic light switches since we were discovering that lights were often left on in restrooms and copier/office supply rooms, sometimes all night long.
Management was informed last year that the Center for Prevention of Abuse was using a lot of water in the domestic violence shelter with its inefficient washing machines for the clients. The center was able to obtain new, energy-efficient washing machines to help reduce water costs.
During the past year, The Center for Prevention of Abuse received some grant money specifically for building renovations, so we utilized that money to retrofit 50 each two-bulb T-12 light fixtures with new T-8 ballasts and bulbs, helping to reduce our energy costs related to lighting. As soon as I began my employment, I was able to obtain free paper-towel dispensers that automatically cut off the length of paper towels, which was much more efficient than the old multifold paper-towel dispensers.
All of the soap dispensers were changed from liquid soap to foaming soap dispensers, thereby reducing the amount of soap used. I discovered that the Alerton controlled HVAC system in the newer part of the building was not programmed correctly, so I set the system to shut down on holidays and weekends.
I have also corrected a lot of problems related to the improper repairs or operation of the Alerton HVAC controlled system.
So what does all of this boil down to, you might ask? The director of finance sent me this report on utility cost usage for the period from June 2009 to December 2009: electricity usage was down by 13 percent, water usage was down by 25 percent, sewer usage was down by 28 percent, garbage usage was down by 14 percent.
The gas usage cost increased by 8 percent due to a colder-than-normal winter, but, all in all, the costs for all of these utilities put together came to almost a $10,000 reduction. For a non-profit, this meant more money for the services provided by the Center for Prevention of Abuse, the only agency in the state of Illinois to provide combined services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault/abuse, and elder abuse.
The center also reaches students age pre-K through college with violence-prevention education, as well as abusers with an abuser re-education program. We on the Green committee are committed to continue searching for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We are strongly committed to reducing the energy costs and we have seen the difference these changes can make.
Kim Farlin, Maintenance Coordinator, Green committee member
Beth Weimer, Housing Assistance Coordinator, Green committee chairperson
Diane Jorgensen, volunteer, Green committee member
Jessica Scanlan-Yerly, Community Outreach Advocate, Green committee member
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