Jul. 8, 2015 12:00 pm

The Sustainable Energy Fund aims to make nonprofits more energy efficient

Nonprofits can learn how to save money by reducing energy costs

Nonprofits own around 6,500 properties in Philadelphia, according to the Office of Property Assessment. These properties range from storefront churches in North Philadelphia to high-tech research facilities in University City.

The Sustainable Energy Fund, a nonprofit devoted to promoting, researching and investing in renewable energy, is holding a series of “Nonprofit Energy Summits” across Pennsylvania to help the sector improve the energy efficiency of its buildings. The summit being held closest to Philadelphia is this Friday, July 10 in Exton, PA at Wyndam Garden.

The summit will provide “a good background and overview on energy sources, energy use and how to use energy more effectively within a nonprofit organization,” said John Costlow, president and CEO of the Sustainable Energy Fund.

He added that there will be sessions on how specific building systems, such as lighting and HVAC, can be made more efficient.

The summits are helpful, Costlow said,  because it can be difficult for nonprofits to make investments in energy efficiency improvements.

“If I’m running a chapter of the SPCA and I have a choice between buying more food so I can feed more dogs, or changing out all my lighting, I’m going to choose buying the food for the dogs,” he said, “because it improves my mission.”

But even though there is pressure on nonprofits to use their funding on their mission rather than overhead costs such as building improvements, Costlow argues that ultimately the nonprofit is saving money by cutting energy costs.

“Any reduction in energy costs allows nonprofits to put more funding into their mission,” he said.

Event registration and details are available here.

Image via the Sustainable Energy Fund 



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