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Case Studies

Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is one of the oldest and most prominent Historically Black Universities in the nation. Its current student population is over 10,000 and has graduated influential figures like Thurgood Marshall, Senator Kamala Harris, Roberta Fleck, Ta-Nahisi Coates, Chadwick Boseman, and P. Diddy. 

Managing Partner, Julian Belilty, has played a key role in managing Howard University’s electric and natural gas procurement efforts since 2015. In late 2017, Honeydew used its deep relationships with third party suppliers to negotiate a natural gas rate far below market averages. Specifically, the rate was 15% lower than Washington Gas’ Standard Offer Service. Given that Howard University operates a cogeneration facility on campus, it’s natural gas usage is very significant. As such, that 15% reduction translates to over $272,000 per year; enough to pay tuition for ten students.

The District of Columbia’s DOEE requires all buildings over 50,000 square feet report their utility data consumption on a monthly basis. While complying with this law can be very costly for a large organization like Howard, failure to comply is even costlier. As a part of this engagement, Honeydew also provided complimentary utility benchmarking services for their entire campus. Using an automated platform, Howard now has a real time dashboard for measuring the cost and efficiency for its largest buildings, reducing its compliance workload significantly.

From Howard University’s Director of Capital Planning and Sustainability, Alfonzye Chisholm Jr. AIA, LEED AP: “The procurement of energy is one of the top priority tasks we lead at the University. Our focus is always on green energy sources whenever possible. However, we still need to procure traditional long-term energy contracts for electricity, gas, and water at the most affordable rate possible. We are a small office with no staff that has the time and expertise needed to help identify and negotiate energy contracts in this volatile and ever-changing environment.To fill this gap, we have worked with Julian as a consultant for over four years. He has been personally involved in our energy decision making process that led to the current energy contracts that we have in place. He has proven to be knowledgeable and more importantly dedicated to making sure that we get the best contract terms available. He has also helped with other initiatives like solar thermal hot water energy and energy benchmarking. He is an important part of the energy and sustainability team here at Howard University.”


Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Alexandria Real Estate Equities owns, operates, and develops life science and high tech business campuses across the nation. Their portfolio includes 44 campuses across 7 urban clusters, totaling 42 mm sqft. Alexandria’s tenants include Astrazeneca, Dana Farber, Duke University, Google, and the National Institute of Health.

In 2017, Alexandria Real Estate engaged Senior Energy Advisor Mike Kennedy to analyze and oversee LED lighting retrofits for the common area on its Maryland campuses. As of June 2018, Honeydew team has facilitated upgrades to 11 campuses resulting in savings of over $66,000 and reduction of 326 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. All of this was accomplished with a sub 3 year payback on project costs.


Chevy Chase Acura

Located in the heart of downtown Bethesda, the Chevy Chase Acura dealership has been serving the District of Columbia area since 1939. They are deeply rooted in the community through their involvement with numerous charities. The dealership provides full service sales, inventory, maintenance, and carwash services for both new and certified pre-owned vehicles.

In early 2017, Chevy Chase Acura approved Honeydew to oversee the upgrade of its legacy lighting system. Honeydew structured a no upfront cost performance guarantee contract through its partnership network. The savings from this project was used to finance the entire cost of the project, with 20% of the savings still retained by the dealership.The net result: total illumination levels were increased by a factor of 3, while total electrical consumption for lighting decreased by 70%. This represents an annual carbon dioxide reduction of 156 tons. The facilities manager describes the improvement as, “…the difference between night and day.


Tony’s Boxing Gym

Tony’s Boxing Gym in Ivy City is a neighborhood institution, instilling discipline and focus boxers of all ages. While Tony’s students loved the gym and the coaching they were receiving, Tony had a problem. The gym’s roof was expired and the ceiling was dripping all over his classes!

Fortunately, Honeydew’s Sr. Energy Advisor, Rachael Morrison, just so happened to pay Tony a visit on one of these rainy days. Rachael worked with Tony, his landlord, and a local solar developer to structure a solar deal that would include a free roof replacement for the gym. This project became the first ever privately funded community solar project in the District of Columbia. Now Tony has a dry ring, his landlord has a new roof, and the local community is enjoying lower cost, locally based, 100% clean solar energy to the tune of 78,000 kWhs. That’s the equivalent 60 tons of carbon reduction each year.


Mansion on O Street

The Mansion on O Street is a DC staple. The former home of both J Edgar Hoover’s FBI and Rosa Parks is now the premiere venue for eclectic music performances, business meetings, weddings, birthday parties, and any other event that needs to be spectactular. On top of all this, it’s also a luxury hotel and museum!

Honeydew has worked with the Mansion since 2016. Using its network of over 40 electric and natural gas suppliers, it was able to find a low fixed rate on the energy supply to protect them from price increases for 3 years. Next, HEA upgraded their ballroom chandelier lighting to LEDs that use 67% less energy than their previous lighting system.

Here’s how H.H. Leonards, founder of The Mansion on O Street, characterizes her experience with Managing Partner Andrew Zimdahl, “Andrew saved us at least 10%, which is a lot for us.  We estimate it to be at least $1,000/month. As a small non-profit, this is substantial.  But life is not just about money. Andrew was there, doing all the work to achieve this goal.  And continues to be in touch with us. He cares. Can’t get better than this.”


Self Storage Services, Inc

Self Storage Services, Inc. (SSSinc) specializes in managing and developing self storage facilities in Florida, Maryland and Virginia. SSSinc. executives have been in the self storage business since 1984. Over the past thirty years, they have been committed to operating storage facilities under its management according to industry best practices and to serving the self storage needs of the communities in which it operates.

The company currently operates 20 self storage facilities in Maryland, Virginia and Florida. Additionally, it owns several office buildings that it leases to high profile clients like Prince George’s County Sheriff and J.G. Wentworth.

Honeydew Energy Advisors has worked with SSSinc since 2016 and manages ten of their commercial electric accounts. Compared to the the current utility standard offer service rate, the rates Honeydew found were over $6,000 less each year.

In 2017, Honeydew oversaw a complete LED lighting retrofit for five of Self Storage Service’s facilities in Northern Virginia. Electricity usage was reduced by nearly 200,000 kWhs per year, resulting in over $15,000 in annual savings and a carbon reduction of 155 tons.


2100 19th St NW Coop

The 2100 19th St Coop is a diverse and vibrant community in the Kalorama neighborhood DC. Though their building is smaller than the high-rises downtown, they still want to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Coop engaged Honeydew in mid-2017 to create a comparison proposal for a rooftop solar energy system. They requested Honeydew structure the deal that would allow them to remove the system removed in the out years for a centralized HVAC system. Within a week, Honeydew was able to leverage it’s provider network for a sweetheart package that included full maintenance, no upfront cost, and covers half of their electric bill. It also reduced their carbon footprint by 16 tons annually.

We had been trying to go solar for a few years, but had trouble finding a company who would finance a solar energy system on our roof. Julian, from Honeydew Energy Advisors not only helped us find the solar companies, but he also negotiated on our behalf and compared the different proposals side by side. He made it very easy for us to go solar, and now we know we received a highly competitive offer.” ~ Meghan Tighe, Former Board President of 2100 19th St Coop