You might think that energy efficiency would be the last priority for a non-profit facing $400,000 in county funding cuts and a serious threat to its mission.
But the Long Island-based Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center turned to National Grid to find ways to help reduce its gas and electric bills in order to address the budget shortfall, realizing a cost savings of over $70,000 per year.
The SYJCC first undertook an energy audit to get a handle on just how inefficient its 55-year-old, 156,000 square foot center was.
It came as no surprise that the former school building was in dire need of boiler upgrades. The recommended fix included a heat timer boiler system control for two existing steam boilers. The system includes an outdoor temperature control that sets the supply of hot water based on the weather outside, and a connection to the Internet for off-site monitoring and control. Optimizing the system means that one of the boilers can be converted to a backup unit used to heat the drafty building on the coldest days.
And the audit discovered that the hot water system needed to go. The old, un-insulated storage tank was heating water up to 1700F and circulating it throughout the building 24/7, with considerable heat loss. The auditors recommended replacing the 4,000-gallon hot water storage tank with a new Turbomax high efficiency on-demand water system that holds 109 gallons.
Also up for replacement: the wall-mounted thermostats did not properly control room temperatures, and were frequently tampered with. The installation of a new automated system integrated with a rooftop HVAC and the new boiler system allows web-accessible building controls, time-of-day scheduling reflecting days and hours of operation, intelligent stop/start technology, and the ability to program for holidays and zones.
Finally, the study also recommended lighting upgrades in the gym, pool, and track areas to further trim SYJCC’s astronomical utility bills, which were eating up many thousands of dollars every year.
The improvements cost nearly $200,000 to install, but incentives from National Grid cut the initial outlay in half. The SYJCC went for it and is not looking back.
“Not only did the energy efficiency improvements dramatically decrease our operational costs, they also significantly increased the comfort of our members, staff, and affiliates of the community center by providing greater temperature control,” said Jack Kulka, founding Board Member of SYJCC.
The SYJCC sees this as a long-term investment in its future — and the future of the thousands of children and families that come through its doors every year.
Annual Energy Savings (kWh/yr): 108,294
Annual Energy Savings (Therms/yr): 40,244
Total Savings ($): $100,817
Total Project Cost: $225,000
Incentive Dollars: $107,525
Customer Cost: $117,475
Simple Payback: 1.2