The nonprofit homeless shelter York County Shelter Programs (YCSP) in Alfred, Maine, has signed up for the Nexamp community solar program to reduce its annual electricity costs and become a more environmentally responsible provider to the community. The organization, which relies mostly on grants, fundraisers and donations for its operating budget, is always looking for ways to make its financial resources go further, and the savings from this community solar participation will enable it to do more for individuals and families in need in the region.
YCSP, which is primarily a homeless shelter but also offers a number of services to help clients get back on their feet, is subscribing to approximately 400 kW from the Nexamp community solar program, which will partially offset its monthly Central Maine Power (CMP) bills and lead to meaningful savings. Each month, YCSP receives more than 100 separate electric bills representing the usage from its various rental units, shelters and administrative facilities. Finding an easy way to reduce this expense was a high priority.
“Our leaders have always wanted to do more to make our operation green, and this was a simple way to make real progress,” said Lori Theriault, housing director for YCSP. “We have installed solar panels on some of our buildings, but for others it just is not practical. Community solar provides us with a way to increase our sustainability program without having to spend any money up front or install any equipment at our facilities. I enrolled in community solar for my own home, so I knew already that the program worked.”
By taking part in the program, YCSP is paying for energy credits on its CMP bills at a fixed discount, achieving long-term savings and stability on its electricity costs while supporting the expansion of clean energy on the grid.
“We know that non-profits wrestle with tight budgets and can do more for their clients when they save money on operating expenses, so community solar is a great fit for many of them,” said Allan Telio, senior VP of community solar for Nexamp.
YCSP operates a homeless shelter for emergency assistance, offers affordable rental units for individuals or families in transition, provides substance abuse support, and runs a food pantry. The organization is responsible for more than 350 total beds across its shelter and housing units and assigns case managers to help clients with the support and skills they need to gain independence.