United Way first Energy Star building in Lima

First Posted: 11/19/2014

LIMA — The United Way of Greater Lima takes on challenges in the community every day, but it recently got the chance to take one on in its own building.

On Wednesday, the organization celebrated becoming Energy Star Certified, as, after a year of transitioning, the organization has made the utilities in the building it works in more efficient.

The building is the first in Lima to become certified, which it did with the help of Smith-Boughan Mechanical Services.

“Because of the nature of our work in the community, making sure we’re not wasting money but being good stewards of the money the community gave us” is important, said United Way President and CEO Philip Hayne.

About two years ago, the organization found a solution to its high energy costs and old heating and cooling systems. The solution was a replacement, which not only meant an upgrade, but will also mean more money the organization can use to serve the community in the coming years.

The heating and air-conditioning systems as well as some of the lighting in the organization’s building on South Collett Street was replaced and the changes will save the company about $7,000 a year in utility bills.

Though there are big money savings to come, there were also considerable upfront costs associated with the changes. The United Way paid $114,000 for the changes, money that will be paid back over time by the owners of the building, the Community Service Corp., Hayne said.

Buildings are rated on a 0 to 100 scale when it comes to Energy Star Certification, with 75 being the lowest a building can score to be certified.

The United Way building scored an 89, meaning it performs better than at least 85 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

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