Econ Opportunities approached Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) about providing a Nonprofit Energy Savings Agreement (NESA) for energy efficient lighting and heating system upgrades for a school in Reading, PA. A NESA is an agreement between the building owner, the contractor(s) and Sustainable Energy Fund that allows for Sustainable Energy Fund to provide the upfront capital for energy projects using an organization’s future energy savings to pay off the initial investment. Upgrades included new interior and exterior LED lighting, a new natural gas fired boiler and controls, and chilled water pipe insulation. Econ Opportunities estimated that total energy costs would be reduced by 40% upon implementation of the recommended energy conservation measures.

The school already had strong relationships with specific contractors, so SEF worked with the school and used their preferred vendors to carry out the energy savings agreement. In this case, there were multiple contractors involved in the project: Richards Energy Group for lighting, 3B Services for the boiler and boiler controls, and Alliance Mechanical Insulation, who reinsulated the chilled water lines. SEF is willing to work with an organization’s preferred contractor(s) as long as those contractors are willing to guarantee the energy savings, which is key to carrying out a successful energy savings agreement.

The structure of the NESA has helped the school to remain cash flow positive following the energy upgrades by allowing them to pay for the energy conservation measures using a portion of their energy savings. In addition to increasing energy efficiency through our Nonprofit Energy Savings Agreement, the agreement also allows for the school to focus more resources on what they do best. Thanks to increased occupant comfort due to better and more efficient energy controls and increased visibility due to LED lighting, the school now has an environment that is more conducive to learning for students and faculty alike. The project has been a win-win from multiple angles.


Project Financing Metrics
Term Projected Monthly Savings Monthly Payment Projected Monthly Cash Flow
8 years $ 2, 582.50 $2,324.25 $258.25
Project Financing Summary
Project Cost $ 161,865.00
Projected Annual Savings $ 30, 990.00
Projected Greenhouse Gas Reduction 207 Metric Tons