Brownsville, PA (February 2, 2022) – One year ago, The FARM, a division of Food Helpers, announced the completion of its 544-panel, 209kW solar array, with the goal of offsetting the organization’s $25,000 annual electric utility bill. In doing so, this would allow the former utility budget to be designated towards the purchase of food and the operations for another division, Greater Washington County Food Bank. The plan was for excess energy production during high-generating months to be sold as solar-renewable energy credits, acting as a potential revenue source for the organization.
After one year, Food Helpers is proud to announce that the sustainability model is exceeding the initial expectations for reducing and eliminating the annual electric utility outlay for the entire non-profit organization. The total electric utility bills received have totaled about $5,000, representing an 80% reduction in initial utility costs. The award-winning solar array also was able to sell solar-renewable energy credits to Exodus Renewables LLC, based in Venetia, PA, for a total of over $5,000 in the past 12 months. This results in The FARM’s solar array covering 100% of utility costs for Food Helpers for the year.
“Through our tactful planning and operations, it is phenomenal that our 26,000 sq. ft. facility can completely eliminate our largest utility bill. This allows more funds to provide more aid, education, and resources to the clients we serve,” said George Omiros, CEO of Food Helpers.
Greater Washington County Food Bank, a division of Food Helpers, has seen the average food value per outreach box has grown from roughly $70 to $90 on average. Savings from utility expenses have attributed, in part, to this increase for the food bank recipients.
The solar array was the recipient of the Lodestar Award for Inspirational Solar Leadership by the Pennsylvania Solar Center in May of 2021 in their non-profit category.