MEA Funds Energy Efficiency Upgrades at St. Mary’s County Senior Living Community
Using a $50,000 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), residents of the Cedar Lane Senior Living Community in Leonardtown now save money on energy bills while enjoying a comfortable indoor climate regardless of weather.
The grant, issued to St. Mary’s County as part of the MEA’s EmPOWERing Clean Energy Communities Low-to-Moderate Income Grant Program, allowed the Friends of Cedar Lane, a non-profit organization that provides support to St. Mary’s Home for the Elderly and the Cedar Lane Senior Living Community, to replace 51 Package Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) units in 51 residential apartments.
“It’s extremely fortunate for these residents, especially in a year when there is no Social Security increase,” said Beverly Stickles, President of Cedar Lane Apartments. “These energy saving appliances will help lower their electric bills, and any financial assistance we can provide to these very low income seniors is a great asset.”
The PTAC units account for 68% of a typical Cedar Lane Apartment electric bill. The new units are expected to provide an 18% energy savings, or 15,607 annual kilowatt hours, over the old units, which will translate into an annual estimated savings of $13,000 per year in energy costs. (A PTAC unit is a self-contained, through-the-wall air conditioner and heater system, which looks similar to units typically seen in hotel rooms.)
Stickles said she was thrilled her team found this grant, and that Cedar Lane Apartments was eligible to apply. She said that, “Being awarded the funds was very invigorating to the staff and especially the residents, who feel that someone is looking out for them and their well being.”
This grant is part of the EmPOWER Maryland initiative, and is funded through the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF). SEIF funds come from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and the SEIF fund statute requires that 50% of all energy efficiency funds be used for low-to-moderate income Marylanders. The grant funds were divided among the Maryland Counties, with $50,000 available for St. Mary’s County for the grant period March 1 through Sept. 30, 2010.