West River Pilot Project
Project Description & Co-Benefits:
Partnering with the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation (a neighborhood non-profit organization) the Yale Community Carbon Fund (YCCF) launched its first pilot project: an energy efficiency investment in New Haven’s West River neighborhood. Twenty moderate-income households received energy saving equipment from the YCCF, including compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), programmable thermostats and low-flow showerheads. The results were not as significant as had been hoped, though it is difficult to make generalizations given the small sample size. Those homes which received programmable thermostats, however had a particularly remarkable reduction in energy use. On average each home used 26% less natural gas when compared to the previous year, for an average savings of $43 per month. In addition to installing energy saving equipment, the Fund partnered with the Urban Resources Initiative and West River residents to plant fifteen street trees in the neighborhood. The trees will pull (or “sequester") an estimated 6.3 tons of carbon out of the air in their lifetime as they grow, while also making the community a healthier and more beautiful place to live and work.
The Yale Community Carbon Fund emerged from a Business and the Environment Clinic in 2007/2008—a year-long, joint School of Management and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies course. Students in the clinic designed the pilot project to achieve measurable greenhouse gas emission reductions and to permit cost/benefit analyses, including specific metric tons carbon equivalent (MTCO2e) per dollar invested.
Contact Info (of project organizer):
Brianne Mullen, Urban Sustainability Program Associate, Yale Office of Sustainability
Completed 2009, lessons learned applied to Programmable Thermostat Project
Offset Registry or Program:
None, plan to seek inclusion in the currently under-development Second Nature guidance on Peer Review.
Cost per Offset ($ per mtCO2e):
$38.48 (for energy/water efficiency work only)
# of Total Offsets:
63 mtCO2e (for energy/water efficiency work only)