Sustainable Energy Means a Sustainable Community

INDIANA COUNTY – The Clyde Volunteer Fire Company made significant improvements to the firehouse this past year thanks, in part, to two grants from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

First, the Foundation’s Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund provided an Energy Audit grant to the fire company, during which a professional assessed the building’s energy usage by reviewing billing statements and determining the amount of energy used by windows, doors, etc. The professional then offered advice on ways to improve energy efficiency and cut costs. The Energy Audit program is offered each summer through the Penelec SEF and eligible businesses include: nonprofit organizations, municipal and county government buildings, and businesses located within business districts or designated Main Street Districts.

Through the energy audit process, the auditor brought up several concerns in the firehouse, but the company agreed that the doors, which were installed during the 1970s, offered the most potential for improvement.

The Bork Family Fund of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies then awarded the fire company $5,000 to help achieve its sustainable energy goals. With this money, they replaced the original wooden doors with fiberglass-insulated doors in the truck bay and social hall. The total cost of the project was just over $5,400.

Robert Ofman, Treasurer of the Clyde Volunteer Fire Company Relief Association, believes these improvements not only make the building more energy efficient, but also add a clean, modern aesthetic. The fire hall acts as a business for protection, house for equipment, and a community center that brings people together.

Ofman says, “We’re a small company that’s been around since 1959 and made up of a group of individuals who saw a need in the community.”

Ofman notes the company’s responsibility to the public and is happy to say that, because of savings accumulated from the energy-efficient doors, they will be able to do more for the community than they were previously able.

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