Energy Efficiency within a "SAFE" Space


DC SAFE, a non-profit that helps survivors of domestic violence in the District, is building a shelter that will house as many as 700 survivors and their families when it opens in December 2020. The DCSEU is hoping to raise approximately $45,000 for energy efficient lighting, heating, and other equipment for the new SAFE Space Crisis shelter.

“We are partnering with the DCSEU on this campaign because we are always looking for ways to be efficient. That is a part of our mission,” says Natalia Marlow-Otero, Executive Director of DC SAFE. “Having energy efficient appliances allows us to save money, but also allows us to be able to provide a home-like space to our survivors.”

The new shelter is expected to be complete in 2020. Once complete, the facility will be able to house as many as 700 survivors and their families each year, doubling the capacity to offer short-term placements for those in crisis. It is a series of micro units that are intended to provide privacy and become a sanctuary for survivors of domestic violence.

“Our intent is to really make it feel like a home and one of the ways that we’re using energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen is really important,” says Marlow-Otero. The full value of equipment needed to make the SAFE Space Crisis Shelter as energy-efficient as possible is $73,757 - the DCSEU is contributing $28,000 in rebates for energy efficient equipment towards this goal.

Through campaigns like “The Power to Save Lives,” the DCSEU partners with nonprofits like DC SAFE to raise money for energy efficiency projects at District-based charities and non-profits. “We work with dozens of nonprofits in the District, whose utility bills can range from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand dollars a month,” says Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DCSEU. “As much as we can help them save, it allows them to reinvest in their mission and that’s why it is so critical for us to work with nonprofits here in the city.”

To donate to “The Power to Save Lives” campaign, visit: