"We look at this as not a choice, it's a responsibility we need to take, particularly with the size of this organization. We want to be sure we are stretching every dollar and using our resources in the right way," says Marisa Geitner the COO and Executive Vice-President of Heritage Christian Services.
The organization is upgrading the lighting in some of it's group homes. The new lights are more energy efficient and will save money in the long run. Geitner says, "thanks to the help of NYSERDA, they covered about 40% of the costs for us to upgrade the lighting systems, the fixtures and the lights in 53 of our sites."
The project amounts to 2100 new fixtures. The total cost is $103,000. But thanks to the grant, Heritage Christian Services only has to come up with 60% of that.
"The dollars are scarce they will continue to be scarce we have to take responsibility for that and it's the right thing to do for the environment," adds Geitner
The upgrades were made primarily in the older group homes and the payback is ahead of schedule. Geitner says, "we were hoping that within about 14 months we would realize the savings from that and up to date we are a little ahead of schedule saving $26,000 in the first six months of the year."
This is all part of Heritage Christian Services plans to become more environmentally friendly. "We're actually hoping by the year 2020 to be more self sustaining in our energy expenses," Geitner says.
Heritage Christian Services isn't the only organization getting help going green. During the first half of 2011, NYSERDA provided $2.4 million in incentives for organizations in the Finger Lakes area.