The Cold Climate Housing Research Center, the Denali Commission, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation launched a pilot project in 2014 to help Alaskan nonprofits and tribal organizations save money by making their buildings more energy efficient. The project provided energy audits as well as the opportunity for low-interest loan financing for retrofits to nonprofit organizations and tribal building owners in the Fairbanks area. Project staff also provided guidance through the energy retrofit process. This included arranging energy audits, financing discussions for retrofits, coordinating contractors to complete the retrofit, and establishing plans for maintenance and energy monitoring. The goal of the pilot project was to pave the way for a statewide self-sustaining program for nonprofit energy efficiency retrofits.

Intended project outcomes:

  1. The project will strengthen Fairbanks nonprofits by reducing energy costs and result in at least 10 Fairbanks nonprofits receiving retrofits.
  2. The retrofits will reduce energy costs for the nonprofits by 33%.
  3. The retrofits should result in sufficient energy savings to cover the majority of the repayment of the low-interest loan used to finance them.
  4. There should be a quantifiable increase in mission delivery from nonprofits receiving audits.

Project goals:

  1. What are the programming and management needs associated with a program that bundles the contracts and efforts for audits, financing, construction, recommissioning, and monitoring for nonprofits seeking energy retrofits?
  2. What guidelines should be established to address barriers faced by nonprofits and tribal organizations in accessing energy efficiency financing through a low-interest loan?
  3. Are energy audits indicative of energy savings for nonprofit facilities?
  4. Can this pilot project be extended to a self-sustaining statewide program?