New program will lower utility costs for local organizations, saving critical operational dollars
The U.S. Department of Energy through the Office of State and Community Energy Programs recently announced that the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) was selected as one of nine recipients of a Renew America’s Nonprofits grant to implement energy efficiency building upgrades for nonprofit organizations in the Kansas City region.
The metropolitan area will receive $4.7 million over three years to support projects that reduce energy use and costs in buildings owned and operated by nonprofits.
Behind salaries, energy costs are the second-highest operational expense for nonprofits, according to the Department of Energy. Reducing energy use can free up a meaningful percentage of funds in both the short- and long-term, leading to savings that can be redirected to mission-critical work.
“We are thrilled to support nonprofits in their critical role of serving the Kansas City region,” said Marlene Nagel, MARC’s director of community development.
“Together with partners, we will work with nonprofits to identify and complete projects that reduce emissions, create cleaner community spaces and generate energy savings that can be redirected to mission-critical work. We will be reaching out to the region’s nonprofit community in the coming weeks to invite their participation in the program.”
The program’s emphasis will be targeted to those nonprofit organizations serving disadvantaged populations and communities. As part of the program, MARC will award up to $200,000 to 25 nonprofits that own buildings in need of energy improvements.
Energy-efficiency upgrade projects in the region could include LED lighting; HVAC replacement and HVAC controls, including building automation or Wi-Fi enabled thermostats; and building envelope improvements that generate a range of energy savings of 15% to 30%.
MARC will be joined by partner organizations in carrying out the program, including Community Capital Fund, Climate Action KC and the Kansas City Building Energy Exchange, Metropolitan Energy Center, Custom Engineering, Entegrity Energy Partners and United Way of Greater Kansas City.
The Renew America’s Nonprofits grant program is funded by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.