Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Baltimore City Non-Profit Greenhouse Gas Reductions Program

Baltimore, Maryland

Federal Funding: $190,500
Project Timeline: February 2010 – January 2013

Latest Update

The City of Baltimore completed the final round of its Non-Profit GHG Reductions Program, in which undergraduate students conduct energy and sustainability assessments for local non-profit organizations. Staff recruited non-profits for the summer audits, including churches, synagogues, community organizations, and neighborhood associations. The City's six interns conducted energy assessments and worked on an array of resources for non-profits, including a cost-analysis tool to calculate projected savings from energy efficient appliance upgrades and a listserv featuring grant opportunities. The City is also collecting and analyzing energy data from non-profits that participated in the 2011 implementation round, in addition to maintaining relationships with past non-profits by helping them implement energy assessment recommendations. Future work includes completing an analysis of the overall progress of the project and maintaining connections with the summer 2012 participants to keep them updated on energy saving opportunities and available resources.


Photo of students in program.

Students Help Baltimore Non Profits

Johns Hopkins students Dezeray Cephas, Karan Shah, Gbegna Adeyinka, Sean Murphy, Michael Rosenzweig and Dom Burneikis (not shown) helped local non-profits save energy and money.

Photo from June 2010 Press Conference.

Baltimore Non-Profits Receive Energy Saving Help

Area Non-profits received free sustainability assessments.

Project Summary

Supporting Non-Profit Organizations to Realize Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Baltimore is engaging with non-profit organizations to help achieve the City's target of a 15 percent reduction in electricity use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2015. The non-profit sector represents one third of total private employment in Baltimore and is among the hardest hit by the economic recession. As a result, non-profit organizations require support to reduce energy use, and have the most to gain from energy cost savings. The City achieves these reductions by:

  • training student coaches at Johns Hopkins University to audit and benchmark building energy use at non-profit organizations, and
  • helping non-profits access incentives, grants, and loans to finance energy-efficiency upgrades.

Reducing the burden of energy bills for these non-profits allows them to focus these resources on their core missions of providing key social services for the community.

Through a sub-grant with Johns Hopkins University, the City of Baltimore trains student coaches to work with 90 non-profits, benchmark their energy use, and conduct visual energy audits of their buildings. Students receive 50 hours of training on energy benchmarking, auditing, employee engagement, identifying low- and no-cost energy savings, and connecting their clients with energy efficiency incentives.

Based on these audits, the coaches identify energy efficiency measures in the buildings of non-profit organizations. Low- and no-cost measures include: purchasing occupancy sensors for offices and conference rooms, replacing fluorescent bulbs where more efficient models are available and updating computer energy management settings. Coaches work with staff to identify behavioral changes that can reduce energy use and GHG emissions. They also work with non-profits to access existing incentives, grants, and loans in order to implement energy efficiency improvements.

The benefits of this program include a direct reduction in energy use and GHG emissions within buildings in the non-profit sector. In addition, the program builds capacity by providing energy-efficiency training to student coaches, and by raising non-profit organizations' awareness of energy use and GHG emissions. The program uses tools such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to help non-profits measure their energy use on a sustainable basis. It also achieves multiple co-benefits:

  • reducing asthma attacks by lowering local air pollution,
  • establishing an infrastructure to measure non-energy resources such as water consumption and waste generation,
  • increasing savings on utility bills, and
  • spreading behavioral changes to non-profit employees' homes and communities.

Community Characteristics

Population: 637,000
Area: 78 square miles
Government Type: City
Community Type: Urban
Median Household Income: $39,000

Program Results

  Reported Results (as of September 2012) Projected Cumulative Results
Annual GHG Reductions 69 mt CO2e 760 mt CO2e
Annual Energy Savings 126 MWh 1023 MWh
Annual Cost Savings $15,140 $62,885
Participating Non-Profits 52 90

Project Websites

Media Coverage

Top of page

Jump to main content.