How Energy Efficiency Could Help Domestic Violence Survivors


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. To help fund energy-saving equipment for the shelter, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) is partnering with the organization on the “Power to Save Lives” campaign.

“Energy efficiency does not just help the planet, it can help non-profits like DC SAFE save money that can help save people’s lives,” said Ted Trabue, Director of the DCSEU. “Every dollar DC SAFE does not spend on utility bills can go towards serving domestic violence survivors here in the District.”

The goal of the campaign is to raise $45,757 for energy-efficient lighting, heating, and other equipment for the new SAFE Space Crisis shelter. If the DCSEU and DC SAFE can make the SAFE SPACE Crisis shelter as energy-efficient as possible, the organization could save $23,358 in energy savings in the first year alone. That’s money they can move away from administrative costs and towards helping domestic violence survivors.

Every bit counts:

  • $25 in energy savings provides an emergency taxi
  • $75 in energy savings provides a food card
  • $150 in energy savings provides a night of safe housing

“With the DCSEU’s partnership and your donation, we will be able to use the money we save to support our survivors,” said Natalia Marlow-Otero, Director of DC SAFE. “We want to keep fulfilling our mission and our next step is to create a Safe Space where our survivors and their families will feel at home.”

Each day in DC, about 2,300 people are at risk of abuse at home or on the streets. DC SAFE has been helping survivors of domestic violence and their children for 12 years. Providing short-term housing to survivors allows them to have a safe place to stay and preserve their limited savings to start new lives.

This campaign is the first in a new series by the DCSEU to raise money for energy efficiency projects at District-based charities and non-profits through its Energy Opportunity Fund.

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



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