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Energy cost savings support health care for under-served Coloradans

10 Jul. 2017

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Energy cost savings support health care for under-served Coloradans

Doctors Care, a nonprofit that provides health access to hundreds of underinsured low-income children and young adults in south metro Denver each year, is expanding its reach and impact because of the energy costs it has saved through its partnership with Energy Outreach Colorado.

Energy Outreach managed a $98,000 project to install energy efficiency equipment in Doctors Care’s Littleton clinic. EOC also helped establish a Doctors Care action team to implement additional energy saving behaviors, like posting energy savings tips in the building and providing staff and volunteers with fleece jackets so they can remain comfortable while turning down the thermostat a notch.

As a result, the organization is saving a projected $2,950 in annual energy costs that it is reinvesting in programs and services. Doctors Care operates an integrated primary care clinic for low-income children and young adults under age 35. It offers a network of specialists and hospital services for uninsured patients, and programs to address socioeconomic barriers to health and well-being.

“The reduced energy costs have provided a little breathing room to allow us to think strategically about the future of health care for low-income patients,” said Bebe Kleinman, Doctors Care Chief Executive Officer. “With the state of health care in jeopardy, the more focus we can put on examining possibilities to changes in health care, the better prepared we will be for our patients.”

The clinic improvements were funded by Energy Outreach Colorado and Xcel Energy rebates and included energy efficient LED lighting, a new rooftop unit for heating and cooling, wall insulation, weather stripping, a new dishwasher, and low-flow water fixtures.

“I’m really impressed with how fully Doctors Care embraced our Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program,” said Brooke Pike, program manager. “It’s so motivating to introduce an organization to efficiency and behavior change ideas and for them to make it their own. From the fleeces to the energy saving tips in their newsletter, Doctors Care is a model for what we aspire to for all our NEEP projects.”   

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