Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club, a nonprofit providing safe, positive places for kids to enjoy fun and engaging after school programs, is the recipient of a free energy-efficient lighting upgrade valued at more than $25,000.

Design, labor and materials for the lighting upgrade were donated by Evergreen Consulting Group as part of its annual Giving Back community outreach project. Stoner Electric Group provided labor and support for the project as well.

“Our goal was to help the club reap the benefits of energy efficiency and meet their needs for safety, visibility and aesthetics,” said Matt Gibbs, president, Evergreen Consulting Group. “Any opportunity to cut costs helps them dedicate resources toward fulfilling their mission.”

Evergreen develops and implements commercial, industrial and residential energy efficiency programs for utilities and organizations across the country. Each year, the company designs and installs an energy efficiency improvement project at no cost for a charitable organization. Since 2011, these upgrades have saved nonprofit facilities a total of 2,300,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and $192,000 in energy costs.

Lighting improvements will help the Inukai club lower energy use, reduce operating costs and improve the learning environment for kids. The downtown Hillsboro-based program expects to save nearly 19,000 kWh and $1,600 in energy costs annually.

Located at 560 SE 3rd Avenue, the Inukai Club offers after-school and summer programs for youth ages 6-18. It reaches 200 youth per day, with low-income and people of color making up 80% of the population served.

Aging fixtures replaced with latest technology

“Lighting in the older portion of our building hadn’t been updated in 25 years,” said Mike Fisher, facilities manager, Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland. “We fielded complaints from staff and youth about underlit areas, poor-quality light fixtures, and flickering lights.”

Evergreen and Stoner installed new LED lighting and occupancy sensors in approximately 8,000 square feet of interior space including a game room and classrooms used for literacy, art, and computers. Additional upgrades were made to offices, hallways, and restrooms. Exterior lighting was upgraded to LED and included new daylight sensors to turn lights off and on as needed.

According to Fisher, staff, youth and visitors are delighted with the transformation. Lighting is brighter and consistent across the different spaces, with more control over lighting in individual offices.

“Because we’re a nonprofit and funded entirely through donations, we reserve our capital improvement budget for the most pressing or urgent projects,” continued Fisher.   “This upgrade, while important, is more of a luxury and one we may not have been able to tackle on our own. Not only will it help us save energy and reduce overhead costs, it gives us the flexibility to tackle other projects that also need attention.”