Wesley Willows ended 2012 with a bang. During a $700,000 maintenance project, aimed at improving effiency in their facilities, they received some good news from Nicor, a $19,000 check to be exact, giving them a rebate for their green efforts.
"All of the planning involved opportunities, and I like to call it the green grid, where we could look at opportunities that we could go to choose green and save money," says Bill Pratt, President & CEO of Wesley Willows.
Pratt had a vision. The newest building built in 2008 houses resident apartments, a pool, a kitchen, and several other facilities. Tip top shape. But the older facilities needed upgrades. To improve efficiency, the project replaced boilers and heating systems, plus close to 350 windows for the entire facility.
"Typically during a winter heating season, we would have two boilers running from October through February," says Pratt. "The season after we did the installation of the new windows, we had two boilers running for six hours during the entire winter the efficiency and improvement was that tremendous."
Facilities Director Bob Moran says the boiler room has the proof, with two boilers that switch between one being on standby, and one being on. This saves money and energy during the long winter months. And with nearly 600 residents using hot water for food, showers, and living in general, efficiency is key.
"So much of it is not cosmetic, and it's about the guts of the building and how it really works and will perform for us well into the future," says Debra Atkins, the campus director. "So I think if you ask the majority of residents, 'Do you know about this', they may not know the details, but they would certainly know that the effort is there for us to, again, take care of what we've had for many years, as we build into the future."