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Making DC’s Shelters More Sustainable

Oct 31, 2017

Emery Shelter Completes Energy Efficient Upgrade Improving Livability and Energy Footprint

(Washington, D.C.) – Today the Department of General Services (DGS), the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) announced the completion of the Emery Shelter’s energy efficiency upgrade. Now, the men’s shelter’s hallways are lit brightly with LEDs, new energy-efficient air conditioners blow cooling air, a new boiler will be providing heat in the winter, and one of two hot water heaters has been replaced.

The joint project is part of an effort to make the shelter on Lincoln Road NE more livable and energy-efficient, providing increased comfort to residents and benefiting the environment. Reducing operation costs for gas and electricity also enables District Agencies to direct the money saved towards other services that benefit its vulnerable residents and additional building upgrades. 

“DGS is committed to operating its buildings as efficiently and effectively as possible. This project supports a healthier indoor environment while reducing energy costs for the city. We are already working with the agencies and organizations involved in this partnership to replicate this model across other shelters and buildings in order to elevate the quality of life for DC residents,” says the Director of DGS, Greer Johnson Gillis. 

The 100-bed shelter’s primary objective is assisting men in sustaining employment and moving into permanent housing. The Emery House provides a stable temporary residential environment along with supportive services, including substance abuse counseling, job coaching, resume writing, and employment assistance. Residents also have access to a computer lab and a kitchen to prepare meals. 

“DHS is overwhelmingly grateful for our partnership with the DC Sustainable Energy Utility. Public-private partnerships such as this one help us to achieve our mission of providing a warm, safe and inviting place for all District residents during times of crisis,” says DHS Director Laura Zeilinger.

The combined annual electricity and gas savings will reduce operating costs by more than $30,000 per year. The upgrades will also prevent the emission of 180 metric tons of CO2 annually. “The DCSEU is proud to support DGS and DHS to improve living conditions and reduce energy consumption, emissions, and costs at the Emery Shelter. We are looking forward to future cooperation,” says Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DCSEU. 

The project exemplifies how different government agencies and programs are collaborating to utilize all the resources available to improve District-owned and -managed buildings. In total DHS and DGS jointly operate 24 shelters. Currently, energy efficiency projects in partnership with the DCSEU are also under way at the New York Avenue Shelter and the Blair House. DGS, DHS and the DCSEU are looking forward to working together throughout the coming four years and intensifying their joint effort to improve other shelters in the District. 
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CONTACT: 
Lee Beck (DCSEU), 202.515.1062; lbeck@dcseu.com


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