The Green Project, Gets “Energy Smart”

Author: Robyn Munici

For 23 years, The Green Project’s mission has been developing a culture of creative reuse in New Orleans by building a marketplace for reclaimed materials and cultivating a respect for their value. The nonprofit’s warehouse store, located in the Bywater neighborhood at 2831 Marais St., diverts six tons of usable materials from landfills per day on average and helps to decrease greenhouse gas production. In operating the Gulf South region’s only paint recycling facility, the organization also prevents a staggering 40,000 gallons of paint from finding our marshes. This year, The Green Project turned their focus inward, reducing their facility’s greenhouse gas emissions and electricity bill with help from Energy Smart. The Green Project participated in a special volunteer weatherization program for local nonprofits run by an Energy Smart partner, EnergyWise. Through those weatherization efforts, The Green Project reduced drafts in office space and upgraded a standard thermostat to a smart thermostat.

“In the past, we had set our thermostat at 72 in the summer months but [now] have it comfortably set at 75/76 since the repairs,” Executive Director of The Green Project, Catherine Crowell stated. “We also have saved hours of the HVAC running due to the scheduling function [of their new programmable thermostat] and never worry if we have left it on overnight or on Sundays.”

The Green Project is also participating in the Energy Smart Small Commercial Solutions program to upgrade standard lighting fixtures to LED models. The gross cost of the Green Project’s Commercial Solutions upgrades is $8,450 but the Energy Smart program expects to distribute $8,250 in incentives after project completion, meaning the Green Project will only pay about $200 for the entire cost of their lighting upgrade project. The project is expected to reduce electricity use by 69,000 kWh a year, which will result in around $11,700 of annual electricity bill savings based on current Orleans Parish usage and saving rate estimates. Participating in the Energy Smart program is helping the Green Project save money that can be recycled back into their mission of reducing waste and improving the environment of our city and region.

The Green Project knows the value of reducing electricity usage through the Energy Smart program first-hand, so the organization is making it easier for their customers to participate too. As an official retail partner for the Energy Smart Retail Lighting Rebate program, Entergy New Orleans customers can purchase discounted LED light bulbs at the Green Project warehouse store while they browse or buy reclaimed materials and recycled paint.

For more information on how you can get Energy Smart at your home or business, visit energysmartnola.com or call 504-229-6868.