West River Pilot Project

Project Description & Co-Benefits: 

Partnering with the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation (a neighborhood non-profit organization) the Yale Community Carbon Fund (YCCF) launched its first pilot project: an energy efficiency investment in New Haven’s West River neighborhood. Twenty moderate-income households received energy saving equipment from the YCCF, including compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), programmable thermostats and low-flow showerheads. The results were not as significant as had been hoped, though it is difficult to make generalizations given the small sample size. Those homes which received programmable thermostats, however had a particularly remarkable reduction in energy use. On average each home used 26% less natural gas when compared to the previous year, for an average savings of $43 per month. In addition to installing energy saving equipment, the Fund partnered with the Urban Resources Initiative and West River residents to plant fifteen street trees in the neighborhood.  The trees will pull (or “sequester) an estimated 6.3 tons of carbon out of the air in their lifetime as they grow, while also making the community a healthier and more beautiful place to live and work.

Student Involvement:

The Yale Community Carbon Fund emerged from a Business and the Environment Clinic in 2007/2008—a year-long, joint School of Management and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies course.  Students in the clinic designed the pilot project to achieve measurable greenhouse gas emission reductions and to permit cost/benefit analyses, including specific metric tons carbon equivalent (MTCO2e) per dollar invested. 

Happy recipient of low-flow shower heads as part of the energy efficiency retrofit program.

Happy recipient of low-flow shower heads as part of the energy efficiency retrofit program.

Yale and local high school students, as well as returning citizens, work together to plant street trees through a partnership with Urban Resources Initiative.

Yale and local high school students, as well as returning citizens, work together to plant street trees through a partnership with Urban Resources Initiative.

Contact Info (of project organizer):

Brianne Mullen, Urban Sustainability Program Associate, Yale Office of Sustainability

brianne.mullen@yale.edu

Project Status:

Completed 2009, lessons learned applied to Programmable Thermostat Project

Offset Registry or Program:

None, plan to seek inclusion in the currently under-development Second Nature guidance on Peer Review.

Protocol Applied:

N/A

Cost per Offset ($ per mtCO2e): 

$38.48 (for energy/water efficiency work only)

# of Total Offsets:

63 mtCO2e (for energy/water efficiency work only) 

Website: West River Pilot Project