Firelands Water Efficiency

Firelands Apartments


Summary:

The Green EDGE Fund made an Energy Efficiency Loan of $25,000 to purchase and install efficient toilets, faucet aerators, and shower heads for the Firelands apartment complex to reduce water and natural gas consumption.

Background premise:

Prior to the EDGE Fund financing this retrofit, water consumption in Firelands apartment was unacceptably high. Based on EDGE Fund calculations, annual residential water consumption in Firelands, including washer use, was expected to be about 500,000 gallons. Thus, we were shocked to find that water consumption was closer to 3,000,000 gallons annually. Given this extreme water consumption, we realized that old, leaky toilets and inefficient shower heads and faucets were wasting an inordinate amount of water. Thus, we developed and implemented a complete overhaul of Firelands water fixtures.

Cost-
benefit estimation:

The Green EDGE Fund provided a $25,000 efficiency grant to cover the project's material and labor costs. While the project's costs were high, so are its expected benefits. The project is expected to save 250,000 gallons of water annually (under conservative assumptions), 650 ccf natural gas, and four short tons of carbon dioxide. We also expect simple payback in 4.67 years, at an ROI of 21%. Thus, while the project's upfront costs were significant, the EDGE Fund expects to recover our financial investment within 5 years, while accruing significant resource savings.

Additional benefits:

The Green EDGE Fund approved of the project because it met the criteria for reducing resource consumption (in this case, water and natural gas) on-campus, had a reasonable payback period, and furthered progress towards campus sustainability. Additionally, this project may save substantially more water, natural gas, and money than we predict, given the conservative assumptions used in our cost-benefit estimation. Thus, we're excited to monitor the savings in future years!
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