Multiple Sandoval County nonprofits are seizing the chance to make important electrical upgrades within their establishments and becoming more energy-efficient in the process.
St. Felix Pantry, R4Creating, Abrazos Family Support Services and Rebuilding Together Sandoval County were among 42 nonprofits statewide to receive grant funding from the PNM Resources Foundation, which is providing more than $200,000 to pay for things like new lighting, solar panels, updated heating and cooling systems, window coverings, ceiling fans and other energy-saving appliances.
“It’s really a testament to the community and the belief in what we do,” Rachael Miletkov, director of development at St. Felix Pantry, said. “PNM really stepped up, saw the need and filled it.”
The goal is to help these groups “save money on their electric bills, reduce energy use, and reduce carbon emissions while fulfilling their mission in the community.”
Miletkov the pantry’s share of grant money will go toward a new $3,000 energy-efficient freezer. She said the previous freezer hasn’t been operational for months and is just taking up space.
She also said St. Felix Pantry’s discussing plans to add heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in the food service area to help ensure continuous air flow and keep the food at stable temperature levels.
Shelly Greuning of R4Creating said her organization already used some of that grant money to replace the building’s window coverings.
“The only windows we have are east-facing. Especially during the summer, it really, really impacts the cooling bills and the way we have to cool the building,” she said.
Greuning said custom glass shading will be applied to the windows, adding R4Creating also purchased some multi-layer shades for extra energy efficiency. She also said the current lighting will be replaced with LED bulbs, given the organization’s building doesn’t have much natural light, and switches with built-in sensors will be added to the bathroom area.
“It’s such a huge blessing for us… Part of this is teaching the students who are in our program about the importance and value of being conscientious about energy efficiency,” she said. “I can’t say enough about (PNM).”