Harvest House is making an eco-friendly shift while saving some serious cash.
The nonprofit, which provides affordable housing, addiction recovery programs, and food security, joined forces with Partners for Green Places in 2019 to transform their campuses with renewable energy and water practices.
After energy audits provided a roadmap with a clear trajectory for sustainable enhancements, Harvest House was able to implement the upgrades thanks to seed funding from the initiative.
“The process allowed us to receive proper guidance without interacting with salespeople with other motives,” explains Harvest House CEO Erin Minor. “The roadmap gave us clear instructions on what professionals could offer and what items we could carry ourselves.”
Harvest House was first able to make a significant impact by installing low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and LED lighting retrofits in each of its units. The funding also allowed for the replacement of outdated HVAC units as well as debris removal and re-insulation of A/C condenser lines.
But the biggest difference came in 2021 when Harvest House was given the opportunity to bring solar panels to their campus. The panels have allowed the nonprofit to cut down on electricity consumption by 11% and saved $4,400 in energy bills–money they plan to reinvest in their mission. With these improvements continuing in future years, Harvest House can expect even greater savings.
Minor says the project has allowed the nonprofit to free up funds and use them in areas that better support the mission and vision of their programs – to champion hope and transform lives via food security, supportive housing for families and young adults, and residential addiction recovery.
“We’re saving money while simultaneously creating a more sustainable future for generations to come.”
PFGP is a partnership that includes Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, DreamLarge, University of Florida IFAS Extension, Sarasota County Government, the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the city of Sarasota. The goal of the community-wide grant program is to encourage organizations to play an active role in adopting energy-efficient and sustainable practices.