SaveOnEnergy – Social Housing | Lighting Retrofit to LED
Shepherds of Good Hope is one of the largest not-for-profit organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless and vulnerably housed in the city of Ottawa. They manage seven facilities throughout Ottawa from emergency shelters to transitional and assisted living housing.
Most of the lighting in these facilities operates 24/7 and a large portion of the operations and maintenance budget for each building goes towards paying the energy costs. As lighting is a major consumer of energy in the buildings, a lighting retrofit was a simple and cost-effective solution in reducing costs on an already tight budget. The existing lighting was outdated and resulted in an annual operational cost of approximately $62,000 annually.
When Jamie Hackett, took over his position as Shepherds’ Facility Manager in 2017, he was already well versed in energy efficiency projects and had undertaken numerous cost savings initiatives in his previous positions. He quickly reached out to Lightenco and requested a lighting audit and analysis for retrofitting the existing lighting systems to LED. Lightenco is a lighting design company that works to help businesses reduce their lighting costs with enhanced lighting systems.
Through Lightenco, Shepherds was introduced to EnviroCentre, an Ottawa based non-profit committed to social and financial sustainability, which means that their revenues are re-invested into ongoing community sustainability programs. EnviroCentre not only realized the environmental impact of the lighting retrofit project, but also the financial impact that it would have for Shepherd’s.
“Our donation is part of EnviroCentre’s ongoing commitment to community sustainability and greenhouse gas reductions in Ottawa,” says Jerry Beausoleil, Acting Executive Director of EnviroCentre. “Large-scale energy retrofits, like the one at Shepherds of Good Hope, have long-lasting impacts and reduce operational costs, which allows organizations to invest more into the programs and services to help people in need.”
With the funding from EnviroCentre and the IESO’s SaveonEnergy Incentive Program, Shepherds was able to move forward with an overhaul of their lighting in each facility. The results were outstanding. Not only were their energy savings goals met, but the overall quality of light was significantly upgraded.
In many areas, the older lights flickered or provided inadequate lighting for clients and tenants. Following Lightenco’s retrofit, these issues were a thing of the past. Hallways were bright and social areas were more inviting.
After participating in the SaveonEnergy Program, Shepherds has begun to take a much closer look at the energy consumption of their facilities. They have continued to assess the feasibility of energy efficiency projects and will be participating in the SaveonEnergy program again for other aspects of their facilities. Most importantly, they will be building a new facility in the coming years and through the partnership with Lightenco and Envirocentre, they are well positioned to ensure more funds go towards serving their clients and programs, instead of just keeping the lights on.
“To be able to modernize our facilities by replacing the old, outdated lighting not only helps save the environment, but also helps free up funds for our organization that would otherwise have gone to energy costs.” said Neil Leslie, Vice-President of Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation. “These cost savings will allow further opportunities to help our community’s homeless and vulnerably housed – from access to emergency shelter services to one of our five supportive housing facilities, the additional savings will go a long way.”