Proof of Concept: Cornerstone Apartments "Bridge The Gap" project
For this fund option, carbon offsets are developed via energy conservation measures and then sold to those wishing to reduce their carbon footprint, facilitating greenhouse gas reductions that would not have happened otherwise. The "Our Projects" main page describes this funding option more fully.
Our partners on this project included Clearwater Credit Union, Missoula Housing Authority, and MMW Architects.
How this carbon offset "proof of concept" project works
The Missoula Housing Authority completed the Cornerstone Apartments, an urban infill project with 12 one-bedroom homes for very-low-income people (<30% AMI), with priority given to frequent users of the City’s emergency response systems. Due to budget limitations, MHA was initially forced to remove high-efficiency air-source heat pumps from the design and replace them with less-efficient electric resistance heaters -- cheaper to install, but more expensive and energy-intensive to operate over the long term. No one wanted to do this, so the question remained: How could we “bridge the funding gap” and include the heat pumps?
Clearwater Credit Union, stepped in, funding half of the cost of the heat pumps and claiming the greenhouse gas reductions from the lifetime energy savings. The project generated 877 metric tons of CO2 equivalent savings, enough to offset two years of Clearwater’s emissions, at a price of ~$25/ton. The lower energy and operation and maintenance costs will save MHA ~$107,000 over the lifetime of the system!
If you'd like to read more about how we calculated these savings and the carbon offset or about additional considerations, including the amount of Greenhouse gas emissions saved, please view this TECHNICAL MEMO.
We co-hosted a virtual ribbon cutting in November 2020. View the slides and/or the zoom recording to learn all about this project (both, right), including who it benefits, how it came together, and more (right).
Virtual Tour & Ribbon Cutting
Cornerstone Offsets In The News:
Click on the image above to download and view the slides shared on our November 10, 2020 virtual tour.