In January’s monthly billing statement, residents of Horizon House received an $80.00 “conservation credit.” This unique decision marks a major milestone in our conservation efforts. The decision followed the development and implementation of our Resource Conservation Management Program, which has become a huge success and was highlighted in a recent Energy Benchmarking Report.
Horizon House first benchmarked the energy performance of our campus in April 2011 to comply with a new City of Seattle ordinance. The annual reporting of energy data combined with the Board of Trustees decision to embed sustainability into the strategic plan launched a community-wide effort to reduce resource consumption.
Horizon House had its challenges when we first set out to benchmark our performance. The complex was constructed in four phases over more than 50 years and has more than 160 individual energy and water meters. Building managers say benchmarking helped them take a more comprehensive look at how resources were being used and opened up a wealth of new savings opportunities—critical for a complex that encompasses more than one million square feet, with a myriad of services for residents.
During 2013, Horizon House continued to identify immediate opportunities to reduce resource consumption and looked for every opportunity to engage both residents and staff in the process. The result was savings in excess of $100,000 compared to a 2010 baseline year. Conservation improvements were accounted for when budgeting for the year, but improvements exceeded expectations, resulting in nearly $31,000 in additional savings. Much of these savings can be attributed to the commitment residents have made to reduce their resource consumption versus the installation of more efficient Infrastructure. To reinforce these behaviors, Horizon House has rewarded residents in an unprecedented gesture that exemplifies its commitment to a sustainable future.