The Second Step has helped thousands of domestic violence survivors address the aftermath of abuse and build brighter futures for themselves and their children. When the non-profit began focusing on lighting challenges at its two locations in Newton, in partnership with Eversource they made energy efficiency improvements, saving an estimated $12,000 in annual energy costs.
“Connecting organizations in Newton and throughout Massachusetts to solutions for savings and energy management is an important part of what we do,” said Eversource Energy Efficiency Spokesperson Bill Stack. “Our work with The Second Step is especially satisfying knowing they’re a vital member of the community and this project will increase the safety and comfort of its employees, residents and clients.”
Founded in 1992, the residential, community, legal and youth service programs offered by The Second Step serve over 800 adults and child survivors of domestic violence and abuse in Greater Boston each year. The indoor and outdoor lighting at both locations, which is often left on throughout the day, was previously too dark for residents coming and going. The Second Step knew they needed all new lighting fixtures but didn’t have the resources to perform the upgrades.
The Newton non-profit participated in the Mass Save small business program, which begins with a free, no-obligation energy assessment conducted by an Eversource-authorized contractor. Business owners then receive a comprehensive proposal of all possible energy efficiency opportunities, the complete costs and estimated energy savings, along with available incentives and financing options. Typical upgrade opportunities may include LED lighting, occupancy sensors, programmable thermostats, pipe and duct insulation, refrigeration controls and more.
The Second Step upgraded to new long-lasting and efficient indoor and outdoor LED lighting and also installed low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads, and single and double door weather stripping. The project qualified for Mass Save incentives, which helped offset the overall cost of the projects. The upgrades will deliver ongoing energy savings, essentially paying for the remainder of the project cost in less than a couple of years and provide year-after-year savings into the future.
“The lighting project achieved our goal of creating a more vibrant indoor atmosphere, and a brighter, safer outdoor environment for our residents and guests,” said Community Engagement and Facilities Coordinator Cindy Laughera. “We also spend less time and money on replacing light bulbs now and can invest those resources and dollars back into our important mission.
The Second Step is saving more than 45,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 900 therms of natural gas annually, the equivalent of powering nearly seven homes for a year. The project will also reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 26 tons – the equivalent to taking 6 cars off the road for a year.