TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- Several nonprofit agencies received grants Thursday to improve their energy use. Tulsa County awarded grants of about $3,000 to each agency, with a total award of $40,000.
The grants will allow the agencies to audit energy usage and plan for greater energy efficiency, according to a news release from the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners.
Agencies that received the grants include the Metropolitan Urban League, YWCA of Tulsa, Life Senior Services, The Bridge Foundation, Domestic Violence Intervention Services, The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, The Parent Child Center, 12 & 12, Inc., Tulsa Area United Way, Tulsa Boys' Home and the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.
"Having the dollars to do an energy audit has for the most part been out of our reach," Mark Graham, United Way CEO, said. "So having an energy audit and being able to sue that as a roadmap to savings, that's huge that's a big deal for us."
"For these agencies who want to get the best bang for the buck, they want to keep as much money out to do good works instead of having it go up in energy costs," said Karen Keith, Tulsa County Commissioner.
The energy audits are ongoing, but some results are in. At the YWCA, the audit found that new equipment could cut their energy bills by 40 percent. The savings would pay back the cost of the upgrades in 5 years.
The simplest improvements, insulation, lighting and a new thermostat, would cost $1,300 and save that much in a single year."So with the audit, then we have an estimation of the payback and with that you can build a business case to go to your board of directors or your funders and say with this investment we're going to have this type of return," Graham said.
The non-profits won't save anything until they make the changes suggested by the audit, but now they know what changes they need to make and how much they can save.
"The results of these audits will undoubtedly make a big difference as the agencies implement strategies that reduce operating costs," said Commissioner Karen Keith.
The funding was providing by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, a program of the U.S. Department of Energy.