Oct 02Energy Efficiency in Action
It’s Energy Efficiency Day 2019! This is a special day for Mercy Housing because energy efficiency is tied to our core values of respect, justice, and mercy. Using less energy shows respect for future generations, keeping our properties sustainable is merciful to the planet, and saving residents money on utilities is just.
Energy Efficiency … Every Day
For Mercy Housing’s Parkside Apartments, energy efficiency isn’t just a holiday, it’s a daily practice. Located in Stapleton, CO, it’s a charming community with 68 homes for families working toward brighter futures. With schools and employment opportunities within walking distance, this is an ideal place for young and old to pursue their dreams. Thanks to Mercy Housing’s sustainability department, Green Hope, upgrades to this property are making a big impact.
Parkside Apartments Shine with Hope
Being more energy efficient doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality of life or cough up a lot of cash either, and Parkside Apartments is showing us just how that’s done.
Eight months ago, Green Hope saw an opportunity to make a positive change for residents and the earth. They partnered with Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) to upgrade LED lights — a simple fix with big savings. Parkside Apartments has saved 18% on its electricity bills.
Partnerships Light the Way
Inside and out, the EOC combed Parkside Apartments from the office to clubhouse and even the laundry room, looking for lights to replace. Without a doubt, their efforts are paying off — helping Mercy Housing with over $900 in utilities’ savings. They saved 8,757.17 kWh of electricity too. That’s equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from driving from New York City to Los Angeles five times!
Brighter Homes, Brighter Futures
The best part, residents that call Mercy Housing home didn’t sacrifice their quality of life and helping the environment made their daily lives better.
Lighting between rooms and hallways became uniform, meaning that residents weren’t leaving bright rooms to enter dark hallways — now, their lives are looking brighter in more ways than one. This simply makes living spaces feel better and people are noticing.
Sara lives at Parkside Apartments and says, “the new, brighter lighting outside makes me feel safer when I’m coming home at night.” Mercy Housing property manager, Cheryl is excited too, “The brightness is welcoming — I love the fact that people notice the lighting and [I’m] even happier that we are seeing a real savings from the switch.” The exterior LEDs installed are a brighter white than traditional street lamps, and the breadth of LED lighting better illuminates streets, sidewalks, and parking lots.
On average, LED lights can last up to 50,000 to 100,000 hours longer than standard lights. That means maintenance staff can free up a lot of time when they aren’t routinely rushing around to replace light bulbs.
Better For Families, Better For Earth
The benefits of LED updates are clear. It creates safer communities, and happier living spaces — saving money, energy, and time. So why isn’t everyone doing it?
A lot of people are, and what makes it easier for some than others is a dedication to innovation. Sustainable affordable housing wasn’t a career field many years ago. A culture of creativity and collaboration made this possible for Mercy Housing. There isn’t a yellow pages for low-income-stable-affordable-housing-utility-upgrades…yet. So how can upgrades like this be scalable for more families and communities?
Innovation is the Guiding Light
A goal-minded, mission-driven approach led our Green Hope team to the EOC. With all the innovation in both affordable housing and sustainability, Mercy Housing is optimistic to see how these two fields will continue to collaborate to create opportunity for those in need.
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