Nonprofit benefits from comprehensive lighting upgrade to save energy, reduce costs
PORTLAND, Ore. — Friends of the Children, a nonprofit that provides adult mentors for at-risk children, was recently the beneficiary of a comprehensive lighting upgrade valued at nearly $22,000. New energy efficient lighting will reduce their energy consumption by approximately 80 percent.
The lighting upgrade and additional services were donated by Evergreen Consulting Group as part of its annual “giving back” community outreach project. Each year, Evergreen rallies lighting contractors and its employees to design and install a lighting improvement project at no charge for a local charitable organization. The 19-year-old company develops and implements commercial, industrial and residential energy efficiency programs for utilities and organizations across the country. Evergreen’s total contribution was $22,432.
In addition to Evergreen’s commitment, Friends of the Children received nearly $8,000 from the Portland Development Commission’s Green Features Grant Program, which provides funds for projects that promote sustainability.
Modern and energy-efficient lighting will help Friends of the Children save energy, improve light quality for staff and volunteers, and reduce maintenance and repair issues. Evergreen’s contribution included the cost of products, labor and installation, and is expected to save Friends of the Children more than $4,800 in annual energy costs.
“This is a tremendous gift,” said Megan Lewis, executive director, Friends of the Children. “All of our lights work now, which is something we couldn’t say before. We would not have been able to invest in such a major project on this scale without Evergreen’s support. Not only are we saving energy but the new lighting has improved the work environment for our staff – they love the better quality light in their work space.”
Modern technology shines new light on historic building
“This project was an interesting challenge,” said Roger Spring, owner, Evergreen Consulting Group. “Friends of the Children is housed in a beautiful century-old building with several old and dated lighting fixtures, many of which we don’t see any more. Our mission was to maintain the historic charm of the property while installing 21st century lighting technology.”
Evergreen’s lighting team replaced Friends of the Children’s inefficient incandescent, metal halide and T8 lighting with LED lighting technology due to its long lamp life, energy savings and better light quality. In many areas, schoolhouse style fixtures were selected to match the building style. In total, the team replaced 208 fixtures in both interior and exterior areas including public spaces, halls and stairwells, gym, kitchen, offices, parking areas and the main entrance. Occupancy controls were added for even more energy savings.
A team of volunteers and professionals spent more than one week retrofitting lighting throughout the 16,400 square-foot office space, plus exterior and parking lot installations as well. Brian Morrison, Evergreen energy specialist, managed the project, conducted the initial audit and worked with Friends of the Children to approve the recommended upgrades. Evergreen partnered with Pacific Lamp Wholesale to complete the installation at a reduced cost.
“Evergreen’s donation saves us on future capital costs and it will help us save on our monthly energy and maintenance costs,” said Lewis. “That savings means we can invest more into the youth and children we serve, which is where we want our dollars to co. Our donors invest in our outcomes and our organization, and our ability to invest more dollars in direct service is critical.”
Evergreen has donated past lighting upgrades to Medical Teams International, Friendly House and Union Gospel Mission.
Evergreen Consulting Group, LLC is a full service consulting firm based in Tigard that manages energy efficiency programs, with a specialty in commercial and industrial lighting, for utilities and energy efficiency organizations across eight states. In 2015, Evergreen’s work with trade allies and businesses around the region delivered approximately 254 million kilowatt hours in energy efficiency savings for 31 clients across 9 states.