Wilmington, NC Public Housing Residents Earn in Excess of $29,000 from Energy Savings
LOWELL, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 22, 2000– In a partnership with Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) and Citizens Conservation Services (Citizens), eight (8) Resident Councils received a total of $29,266 this year from energy savings achieved from WHA’s energy performance contract with Citizens. The contract enabled WHA to install many energy and water efficiency measures at no upfront cost. Most of the yearly energy cost savings cover the infrastructure improvement costs over the twelve-year contract term, and the remainder is split among the resident councils, WHA and Citizens.
In the most recent year of performance, the Resident Councils’ share of the savings represents the largest resident fund secured by an energy performance contract anywhere in the country. Under this performance contract, a water conservation program was implemented that included replacement of water closet, showerheads and faucet aerators, and the diagnosis and repair of water leaks in the apartments and the piping infrastructure. Additional capital improvements in the residents’ apartments included new ground source heat pumps, thermostats and refrigerators, and a new domestic hot water heater in Solomon Towers. WHA and Citizens replaced light fixtures in corridors and community buildings, yielding additional cost savings.
In total, the measures, installed from l997-9, cost $3 million and yielded $565,000 in savings during the past year. In today’s announcement, Citizens’ Resident Educator Sharon Wynn thanked the residents for their efforts to conserve water and energy: “You have shown your neighbors and Wilmington is showing the nation that our efforts to work together to improve our environment can pay dividends which enrich all of us.”
Ms. Wynn has been meeting with residents in semiannual sessions at each of the authority’s eight developments to discuss strategies for saving water, gas, and electricity and to respond to concerns raised by residents about the program. WHA Executive Director Alan Jones, who championed the creation of the fund, said “Since resident life style and efficiency practices in no small measure determine the level of savings achieved by the Housing Authority, our communities have earned their funds; we look forward to doing even better next year.”
The Resident Councils have allocated their funds to pay for sewing machines, school supplies, games, and arts & crafts materials for community centers; community celebrations; and financial rewards to graduating seniors from high school. Each Resident Council has discretion to spend its energy savings fund as it wishes. WHA Resident Services Coordinator Rose Coston observed, “The money is really helping to bring our communities together”.
Funding for the project, approved by the Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) three years ago, is supplied via a tax-exempt municipal lease.
Citizens Conservation Services is the multifamily housing subsidiary of Ameresco, an energy services company headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Citizens is an energy services company with offices in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and California that develops and implements utility-saving projects in large residential properties. The company specializes in developing financing opportunities, installing efficiency measures, and guaranteeing that a predicted level of utility savings materialize.
Ameresco was founded by George Sakellaris, a pioneer in the energy services business, and founder of one of the most successful companies in the industry. Ameresco also provides schools, hospitals, municipal and office buildings, and industry with efficiency and power generation services. CONTACT: Citizens Conservation Services Steve Morgan, 919/929-6080 Sjmorgan03@aol.com