Wright-Ryan Offers Employees Energy Audits
February 20, 2009
Wright-Ryan Construction of Portland, Maine has taken their commitment to environmental sustainability to a new level by offering their employees the opportunity to have an energy audit at their personal homes or apartments.
Wright-Ryan Construction of Portland, Maine has taken their commitment to environmental sustainability to a new level by offering their employees the opportunity to have an energy audit at their personal homes or apartments. Energy auditors visited employees’ homes to help offer instruction and advice for how to reduce their carbon footprint as well as help reduce energy costs and consumption. After the audits, Wright-Ryan and its employees then worked with Hancock Lumber to create customized Efficiency Starter Kits to provide each employee with common items that they could install and use to boost their home’s efficiency. The E3 initiative (Employee Energy Efficiency Program) is part of a larger strategic plan that strives to support sustainable practices in jobsites, the Wright-Ryan headquarters, as well as in employees’ homes. In a time of rising energy costs, climate change, and economic uncertainty this program exemplifies what employers can do to inspire sustainable practices and environmental responsibility.
“Regular people, just like us, were looking at a $5,000 heating bill for the winter when it’s usually $2000. Our employees were staring down the barrel and we felt like it was important to help take care of them. Reducing their carbon footprint was also a nice bonus,” explains Greg Lanou, Wright-Ryan Homes General Manager and E3 Program Coordinator. Energy auditors perform a thorough energy audit of the home which includes an inspection and interview, a blower door test, an infra-red scan for heat loss and smoke test for air leakage as well as testing efficiency of any combustion appliances and more. Employees have already seen the benefit of their energy audits. Wright-Ryan employee, Hadley Schmoyer, indicates, “We knew we were losing heat in our turn-of-the-century home, but we didn’t know where. The energy audit allowed us to target our inefficiency and mitigate it with spray foam, programmable thermostats, and insulation of heating pipes.”
“Sustainability is a core mission in all of our building practices,” comments John Ryan, President of the firm, “so it was natural to have our employees be able to implement changes in their home to help save energy as well as lower heating and cooling costs.”
Wright-Ryan is an industry leader in the state of Maine for sustainable practices. In 2005, Wright-Ryan entered into a formal agreement with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and joined a dozen companies in the Environmental Leader program which is the DEP’s voluntary program encouraging businesses to surpass environmental laws and regulations. Wright-Ryan remains the only construction firm in the State of Maine to exceed environmental commitments. W-R has completed six LEED projects ranging from Certified to Platinum. In addition to commercial and institutional projects, W-R has completed a private residence within the LEED for Homes Pilot Program and the home attained the first Platinum LEED Rating in northeast and only the fourth in the nation.