Today we’re celebrating the 6-year anniversary of a very special solar project in our hometown – a 10.8 kW solar array that the Sun Club® donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Austin.
It’s hard to resist smiling when you see the happy faces of families and kids helped by Ronald McDonald House Charities. As a thank you to Sun Club members who helped make this possible, Kent Burress from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin & Central Texas gives us an inside look at how solar energy has helped them accomplish their goals.
“Austin’s Ronald McDonald House provides lodging and support services for families with critically ill or injured children being cared for in Austin area hospitals. We have been in our new 30 room House for almost six years now. Over those years thousands of families have stayed with us.
Those families, and the families that will continue to look to us for care in the decades to come, were the inspiration and the driving force for the design and construction of our new facility. From the earliest discussions we committed to creating an environment that would positively impact the health and wellbeing of the families staying with us. Throughout the design process of our Ronald McDonald House we benchmarked all decisions against two primary goals. First, the goal to create a facility that would best equip us to care for our families. Secondly to construct a facility that would enable us to better ensure the long term financial stability of this organization. The over-arching commitment was to accomplish these goals in a way that respected the financial sacrifices made by our many supporters, and that also demonstrated an abiding and powerful regard for the environment we share. By committing to building within LEED Platinum standards, we were able to effectively meet these goals.
The support of the Sun Club has been a significant component in accomplishing those goals. Along with the energy and resource efficiencies within the new building, our ability to generate a portion of our own energy from natural sources was a key element of a responsible long term sustainability plan. Thanks to the generous support of the Sun Club, we were able to install a 10.8 kW photovoltaic array that has reduced our energy costs by approximately $2,800 annually – that’s about a 10% savings. Since we are a non-profit organization that depends upon donations for the bulk of our funding, this savings is very significant to us.
I hope that each member of the Sun Club holds a strong sense of pride for this significant role in creating Austin’s LEED Platinum Ronald McDonald House. I also hope that that every member has received an enduring sense of satisfaction in knowing that they have helped make, and will continue to make a powerful difference in the lives of the families and children who look to us for care. You have made a powerful difference here!”
To learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities, visit www.rmhc-austin.org.
Non-profits are welcome to apply for their own solar donations from the Sun Club now through Aug. 2 at greenmountainenergysunclub.com/apply-for-a-donation.