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ECE helps remove a barrier to self-sufficiency for A Place for You

It’s an example of collaboration that reflects the cooperative principle, concern for community. ECE recently partnered with A Place for You (APFY) transitional shelter in Pine City to purchase and install a high-efficiency heating and cooling system in their building.

The system will help APFY keep operating costs down while it focuses on its mission of helping men and women in need. The project helped ECE meet our spending requirement under the state’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP).

“We’re required to spend .2 percent of our gross revenue annually on projects that benefit economically-disadvantaged populations in our service territory,” said Justin Jahnz, Manager, Energy Services and Strategic Projects.

“APFY serves individuals who want to get back on their feet and need a hand up. For us, it’s a way to help a community-based, non-profit organization in its effort to become more self-sustaining.”

Volunteers at the shelter literally ran into a wall last year when they decided to use an unfinished portion of their building for a new, income-generating enterprise, Furnishings for You, LLC. 

“We thought we would open up part of an outside wall and put in an entry door for the used furniture store,” said Pam Greden from APFY. “We found out there was so much water damage and rot that the wall was structurally unsound and had to be replaced. Faced with such a major expense, our prospects of opening a furniture store were dim. There was no heat in this room, and we didn’t have the money to put it in.”

ECE’s $9,131 contribution funded 75 percent of the cost of an air source heat pump and furnace and the labor to install the system. The work was done by local contractors.

“Dollar for dollar, this is probably the most efficient equipment we could put into this facility,” Jahnz said. “It will have a very positive impact on their costs for heating and cooling.”

ECE also works with Lakes and Pines Community Action Council and Tri-County Community Action Program to provide CIP funds for energy-efficiency improvements for individuals in need.

A Place for you receives check from ECE
Pictured (l-r) are Pam Greden, APFY Executive Director Tressa Hunting,
Mary Kay Sloan and Justin Jahnz from ECE. 

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