Sarasota County Sustainability staff and Sarasota Housing Authority (SHA) kicked off the summer by completing energy- and water-efficiency improvements for the last three floors at SHA’s Annex building in downtown Sarasota. Our team installed energy- and water-efficiency devices, such as LED lightbulbs, faucet aerators, smart power strips, low-flow shower heads, and more. We also looked for bigger repairs, like water or air leaks, and reported those findings to SHA’s maintenance team.
Throughout the day, we also focused on educating and providing additional resources to the residents. When the residents are home, it gives us an opportunity to explain what we are doing and why it’s important. Our program focuses on the three pillars of sustainability: Environment (Planet), Social (People), and Economic (Profit). When we install energy- and water-efficient devices in these homes, we help improve the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, help those that are most in need, and save money on utilities.
We are very proud of this program and enjoy teaching the residents about how they contribute to the three sustainability pillars. One of the residents, David, said: “Thank you for doing this. I really appreciate it. I always try to conserve water and energy. Coming from Cuba, I know how it is to struggle, but I still don’t waste. Some of my friends leave the faucet running and all the lights on and I ask them, ‘Why?’ They say, because they are not in Cuba anymore. But, I try to teach them that they shouldn’t do that, and we must conserve these resources for future generations.”
Overall, we replaced 141 incandescent or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) lightbulbs with LEDs. LEDs last longer and use less energy, which helps the residents and SHA lower energy and water usage and lower utility costs. According to Energy Star, replacing a traditional incandescent 60-watt lightbulb with an LED can save an average of $163 over the lifespan of the bulb (20 years).
We also switched out 63 kitchen and bathroom sink aerators. These devices add air into the water through the screen in the aerator, which minimizes the amount of water being used.
During this event, which finished our work at this location, we completed energy- and water-efficiency upgrades at 38 public housing units, reaching often-underserved community members. In the coming months, we will continue to work with Sarasota Housing Authority on improvements at other locations.
If you are interested in becoming an energy coach volunteer, would like to receive energy efficiency devices or a free consultation, or just want to learn more about energy equity and our energy upgrade program, please contact us and learn more through the following links:
- Saving energy for those who need it the most
- First “Energy Sweeps” Successful
- Become an “Energy Coach” to Help Those in Need
- Energy Upgrade Consultation Application
- Energy Upgrade Class on Canva
- Eventbrite Classes
- Visit the Energy Upgrade Website
- Learn about the Sarasota Housing Authority, our partner
Contact us for additional information or questions by email to SustainableSarasota@scgov.net or call 941.861.9900.