PENSACOLA – Budgets for nonprofit organizations are always tight, so upgrades for energy efficiency to an organization’s facility are usually not the highest priority. Energy costs can be a big part of the operating expenses, so energy efficiency can be a big factor.

That’s why Gulf Power’s Nonprofit Energy Makeover works to identify organizations in need and then send in our energy experts to evaluate their facilities and make recommendations. The team then works to make energy upgrades to improve the organization’s energy usage, saving them money they can redirect to support their mission.

“Nonprofits operate on such a tight budget that every dollar counts, and money spent on the cost of doing business takes away from their ability to accomplish their mission,” Sandy Sims, Gulf Power external relations director. “That’s where our Nonprofit Energy Makeover comes in. As part of FPL, we’re working together with the communities we serve to help make Florida an even better place to work and raise a family.”

The Epps Christian Center in Pensacola was the first recipient of a makeover with the Gulf Power team going in earlier in October and identifying and making the upgrades.

“Based on initial assessments at the Epps Christian Center, we found that the heating and cooling system needed attention along with duct work in the facility,” Sims said. “The center received increased insulation as well and there may be other upgrades that could be made.”

Repairs like the ones made at the Epps Christian Center have typically resulted in savings of approximately $1,000 a year on the electricity bill.

Repairs included:

  • Service to the heating and cooling system and then setting the temperature to 78 for cooling and 68 for heating.
  • Added attic insulation where possible.
  • Installed air curtains in walk-in freezer and refrigerator as well as cleaning exterior coil.

Recommendations were also made for future savings:

  • Replacing windows with energy efficient models.
  • Upgrading the electric strip heat to an energy efficient heat pump.
  • Automated switches for lighting and kitchen hood controls.
  • Upgrade refrigerator to a modern energy efficient model.
  • Reduce interior room lighting usage with LED upgrades.

“Wow! And thank you to Gulf Power for choosing our Soup Kitchen for your energy efficiency makeover project,” said Pastor Sylvia E. Tisdale, with the Epps Christian Center. “We purchased our soup kitchen building in 2005, but we didn’t have funds to update our building to be more energy efficient. I can already tell the difference in the building. It is cooling much better and the humidity level is more comfortable. Thank you, Gulf Power.”

Gulf Power offers a variety of programs and tools to help customers manage their energy usage. Visit to learn more.