HOUSTON — For the West Houston Community Center, the hot Texas summer means higher energy costs for air conditioning and an increased strain on its budget. But this summer will be much different thanks to lower energy rates from Houston-based Entelrgy and an energy management system donated by EnTouch Controls.
The West Houston Community Center (WHCC) is a nonprofit organization that hosts Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Palmer Drug Abuse Programs (PDAP) for young and older youth, parent/child and multi-family programming, domestic abuse group counseling, and Cocaine Anonymous.
Because its programs are hosted at various times and in multiple rooms throughout the WHCC facility, HVAC energy costs have become a significant expense for the organization. One such program is the Family Point Resources, which focuses on programs that enrich the lives of low-income neighborhood children and their families. During the summer they conduct a variety of summer camps at WHCC including dance, art, drama, reading, and sports. The camps greatly increase building traffic and are at all times of the day.
Before implementing EnTouch’s web-based energy management solution, WHCC guests were changing temperature settings themselves, or if they did not have access in a given room, they’d call the facility manager to come out to change the settings. The major issue was that when temperature changes were made in the evening, they’d be forgotten, leaving the air conditioning to run throughout the night when the facility was closed.
“Energy is our number one non-personnel expense, but there are simply too many programs and too many different groups within our facility for me to ensure temperatures are properly regulated,” said Jorge Quinones, executive director, West Houston Community Center. “EnTouch’s solution completely simplified this process and we expect to see significant energy savings, which will free up our budget to focus on what’s most important to us — the community.”
Entelrgy adopted WHCC into its Community In Action program, in which the company provides lower-priced energy costs and makes donations to local community organizations and nonprofits. In the case of WHCC, Entelrgy professionally renegotiated its energy contract and reduced annual energy costs by just over $3,000. And on May 8, 2014, Entelrgy made an additional charitable contribution of $3,868 to WHCC.
Add to that the donation of the EnTouch Pro thermostats and WHCC will be able to reduce its energy costs even more by reducing its energy usage. With the EnTouch Pro thermostats in place, guests can text the facility manager for changes and he can manage temperature changes remotely from anywhere with his mobile phone. In addition, security functionality of the EnTouch Pro allows the facility manager to select a desired temperature and ensure that onsite changes do not exceed +/- 3°F of the approved setting. If changes are made, the thermostat will automatically revert back to vacant set points each night.
“The West Houston Community Center is a valued resource providing essential wellness services to its community, and it is a shame that so much of its funding was consumed by unnecessary energy costs,” said James Walton, vice president of business development at EnTouch Controls. “We’re happy to provide the center with the EnTouch Pro thermostats and look forward to continuing our work with them to ensure maximum energy savings.”
“The goal of our Community In Action program in 2014 is to give $100,000 back to local organizations like the WHCC,” said F. Michael Lewis, vice president of operations for Entelrgy. “This is EnTouch’s first time teaming up with our Community In Action program, but the combination of our negotiated low rates and energy management is a good one for making the maximum impact on these organizations.”
For more information on Entelrgy, visit www.energycompete.com.
For more information on EnTouch, visit http://entouchcontrols.com.
Publication date: 7/21/2014