CCH Tackles Challenge of Reducing Energy Consumption
CCH has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reduce energy consumption at its properties by at least 20 percent over the next 10 years as a partner in DOE’s Better Buildings’ Challenge.
“We have a commitment to being green,” shares CCH Senior Asset and Assurance Manager Brett Vaughn. “Joining the challenge is another way to build on our internal commitment through CCH’s Green Communities Initiative.”
DOE’s Better Buildings’ Challenge is designed to drive leadership in energy innovation. The program aims to bring together industry leaders from more than 300 private and public sector partners to reduce energy consumption, share success stories and collectively drive down energy usage to reduce cost at their respective properties.
The initiative is showing positive results. Since the challenge began, shared energy data collected by DOE shows participants have benefited from an average of two percent a year in cost savings, collectively totaling more than $1.9 billion. Savings will continue to grow as organizations learn from one another about how to best develop and implement sustainably-designed buildings and to leverage efficiency practices.
To help achieve a 20 percent energy reduction at its communities, CCH is looking to implement a number of energy efficiency measures. For the first year, CCH is creating benchmarks to determine current energy use for electricity, gas, water, sewage and garbage output. These baselines will be used as targets from which to reduce consumption. The next step will be to develop an implementation plan, taking into account existing conservation measures, planned renovations, and identification of available federal, state and/or local green initiative programs.
“We will be looking at measures, such as installing solar panels, energy efficiency lighting and other conservation systems, to help reduce energy usage. We also will look at ways to encourage our staff and residents to recycle, reuse and reduce wherever possible,” Brett explains.
“Seniors are oftentimes overlooked as proponents of conservation,” he shares. “Our residents are happy to be a part of the solution and to be involved in decision making that benefits the environment. This is their way of giving back for future generations.”
Brett is confident CCH will meet its pledge to reduce energy consumption. “Absolutely,” he exclaims. “As utility prices continue to rise, it is essential that we reduce our cost to maintain affordable housing. Cutting back on energy usage is an important imperative to save money and to remain good stewards of our environment.”