The YMCA of Southwest Kansas is where people discover who they are and all that they can be. The 68,000-square-foot facility welcomes 6,000 registered members with an additional 22,000 guests per year who participate in more than 91 programs with 74,000-plus check-ins per year.

Lighting and cooling a facility of this size is no easy or inexpensive process — a task which aging equipment and budget constraints only made more daunting. In a single month, the YMCA was consuming 11,208 kWh, and replacing worn-out bulbs seemed to be a perpetual process costing thousands of dollars.

After a facility assessment, Budderfly, an energy management solution provider, computed the energy use reduction based on upgrades to lighting and HVAC units. Budderfly guaranteed the YMCA would receive these upgrades at no out-of-pocket expense. Budderfly provided 100% of the capital, equipment, and installation to transform the YMCA for energy efficiency. Budderfly’s unique, savings-financed model also allowed Chad Knight, CEO, YMCA of Southwest Kansas, to approve the process and move forward promptly without the usual budgetary allocations and piecemeal installation approaches. 

“For the capital investment, we would have been doing this for 10 to 12 years to do what Budderfly did for us in a matter of three weeks,” said Knight. “It was a no-brainer for my committee because we had nothing to lose. Budderfly came up with the capital investment. It was just a huge benefit to have the money put up front for us to make a difference in our facility, make a difference for our members, and, most importantly, get the energy savings on the HVAC equipment so it was not running at full capacity all the time.”


Technology Implemented

Lighting Upgrades

  • Retrofitted 45 400-W MH recessed fixtures with 150-W LED Corn Cob lights;
  • Retrofitted nine 100-W MH recessed fixtures with 54-W LED Corn Cob lights;
  • Retrofitted 30 surface mount fluorescent T8 fixtures with LED light bars and LED T8 tubes; and
  • Replaced 36 2x4 T5 high-bay fixtures with new, high-efficiency LED fixtures. 

HVAC Upgrades 

  • Installed NexRev variable frequency drives (VFDs) on six units, which make constant small adjustments to control power and temperature with maximized performance and efficiency; and
  • Installed HVAC chips in seven units to regulate performance and extend the unit’s life cycle. 


The Benefit

As soon as the contract was signed, Budderfly began installation and assumed responsibility for the YMCA’s electric and gas payments. Instead of receiving these utility bills each month, Budderfly sends the YMCA a simple, consolidated monthly bill showing usage and ongoing savings, along with detailed operational analytics.

Budderfly’s solution for the YMCA of Southwest Kansas might seem too good to be true, or that there must be some “catch” to the program. However, Budderfly’s model really is designed to deliver a win-win — with the YMCA and Budderfly benefiting greatly from the collaboration. Budderfly not only supplies 100% of the capital investment but also assumes the ongoing maintenance and monitoring services of equipment.

By reducing overall electricity usage for the YMCA, Budderfly is also helping the facility reduce its carbon footprint. Budderfly is able to finance and deliver all of these benefits (and to create their own profits) through the ability to generate unprecedented energy savings. The solutions implemented by Budderfly reduced the YMCA’s energy consumption by approximately 30%. A portion of the money saved goes back to the YMCA in the form of facility improvements, 24/7/365 management and maintenance services, and long-term contracted savings.