The nonprofit helping other nonprofits install solar panels

UNION, Mich.-- In an example of nonprofits helping other nonprofits, 5 Star Life cut the ribbon to their new solar energy system Monday, a project coordinated, fundraised, and overseen by Everybody Solar.

“Everybody Solar is a nonprofit that is dedicated to bringing solar to other nonprofits across the U.S.,” said Executive Director Myriam Scally.

The 72-panel system, 23 kilowatts in size, sits on the roof of 5 Star's equine barn, at their Summit Innovation Learning campus in Union, Michigan.

“It has always been our goal to be as environmentally sustainable as possible,” said Aubrey Danielson, executive director of 5 Star. “We want to teach kids about renewable energy, we think it’s really important to care for what we’ve been given, this beautiful earth, and so it has always been a priority for us.”

Nonprofits often lack the ability to switch to renewable energy, whether it be funding or maintenance, so that's where Everybody Solar comes in.

“Nonprofits are generally mission-driven, which, they should be,” Scally said. “And their funding is very tied to their missions. So, they are usually overworked and understaffed, and a lot of their drive is to make sure their programming keeps running year after year.”

Without the burden of the upfront cost of a solar system, 5 Star Life can now enjoy the cost-cutting benefits of renewable electricity.

“Having this solar panel system is incredible because we not only get to teach kids about renewable energy, we get to cut costs,” Danielson said. “We’re a non-profit organization, anywhere we can cut costs is huge for us.”

“We’re helping to reduce the impact on climate change by reducing fossil fuels and the usage of them but we’re also helping the nonprofits become more sustainable,” Scally said, “because for every ounce of electricity that is created through renewable energy, they’re saving on their overall administrative costs.”

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