This private elementary school located in Holley, New York is teaching its students a lesson in energy efficiency—by example. They replaced incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and all security lights with metal halide. Administrator Mary Beth MacClaren indicates that although Utility savings was a big benefit, the upgrade also proved a great way to teach students. They have taken the training into their homes and taught parents. It gave staff a chance to develop and use innovative curriculum. Student also learned about water conservation as well as energy efficiency. The 8,000 square foot school estimates annual utility savings of $6,000. The 35,714 kWh saved will prevent about 61,642 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.
Jason Holstine, President of home-based business Aurum Learning Systems, is a strong believer in doing something the right way, right from the start. That’s how Mr. Holstine approached the building of his new house and 235 square foot home office in Boyds, Maryland. Aurum produces materials relating to sustainable development and environmental policy, and as Mr. Holstine put it, “We feel it is necessary to represent ourselves as a leader and doer who takes our own advice”, which is exactly what they did. During the design and construction phase, Mr. Holstine insisted on an ENERGY STAR labeled furnace, programmable thermostats, humidifiers, the use of fans, and extra foam insulation in the foundation. Aurum Learning Systems is a company that truly practices what it preaches, and will see major savings from new and smart construction.
Saving lives is critical to a hospital, and saving energy is critical to a healthy bottom line. That’s why the 100,000 square foot Ashe Memorial in Jefferson, North Carolina decided to invest in energy efficient technology. Those investments include variable speed drive motors, electronic ballasts with T8 fluorescent lamps, an energy management computer system, and the addition of an efficient winter chiller (30 tons). Thanks to these efforts, Ashe Memorial has cut energy costs by up to $5,000 per month, and now has better lighting and improved comfort for both patients and employees. The 857,142 kWh saved will prevent about 1,898,571 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. Administrator R.D. Williams said, “In an environment where reimbursement of healthcare services is declining, it is very important to be able to reduce operating costs. Implementing energy efficiency measures has enabled us to do that.”
Joseph Mannella, owner of Kiddie U, a 15,400 square foot daycare and learning facility in Orlando, Florida, operates a building that has the lowest energy costs per square foot of any comparable facility in the state. This fact was established by the Energy Conservation Assistance Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which provided technical support for Kiddie U’s efficiency upgrades. At $1,500 per month for combined water and energy costs, Mr. Manella’s new facility costs about 40% less to operate than his prior building. Kiddie U was able to incorporate high-efficiency air-conditioning, programmable thermostats, T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts, compact fluorescents, occupancy sensors, and insulation in the daycare center.
The SBDC Energy Conservation Assistance Program also assisted Mr. Mannella in obtaining a $75,000 Florida Energy Loan to help finance the energy improvements and improve the overall comfort of the facility. Mr. Mannella says, “Here in ‘Hurricane Alley’ the added hazard mitigation security of the insulated-wall construction is important.”
Tech Vest Inc., is a 60,000 square foot developer of technical solutions in Cape Canaveral, Florida. President Edward Hradesky knew that they could cut costs, protect the environment and lessen their dependency on a sole power provider if they installed natural gas generators to power their building—and they were right! These clean natural gas engine generators eliminated most of the building’s peak demand charges and reduced energy costs by more than 40%. That equates to approximately $24,000 a year in cost savings—a very smart business investment. The 342,857 kWh saved will prevent about 759,428 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.
The Midtown Building, managed by the Malcolm Bryant Corporation in Owensboro, Kentucky, has become a more comfortable place to work. The tenants love the management’s approach to keeping the building as comfortable as possible with an evenly heated and cooled space and a brighter and cleaner work environment. This was accomplished through smart energy efficiency improvements. The 80,000 square foot facility now uses T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts, programmable thermostats, an energy efficient boiler and controls, blown-in insulation, LED exit signs and metal halide parking lot lighting.
Added to improved comfort, the bottom line cost savings are about $6,500 annually, and the 54,285 kWh saved will prevent about 120,243 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. Mr. Bryant says, “We have saved 25% on our energy usage. We have more satisfied tenants...and our maintenance people are not in the tenant’s offices as much changing lamps and ballasts.”
Three Rivers Resource Conservation & Development Council in Milton, Florida, with the assistance of the University of West Florida’s Small Business Development Center, developed a resource conservation model in their own building. Three Rivers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting natural resources, and what better place to start than with their own 2,400 square foot building? Three Rivers upgraded to ENERGY STAR labeled low-E insulated windows, high-efficiency HVAC, programmable thermostats, improved ceiling insulation, T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), LED exit signs, and an induction hot water unit.
The 17,142 kWh saved will prevent about 37,971 pounds of CO2 emissions annually, and create more than $1,200 in annual cost savings. John Harper, the RC&D Coordinator, says, “The upgrades have resulted in improved air quality as well as a pleasant working environment. Anytime the working environment improves, productivity improves.”
Energy efficiency was a priority when Dr. Jennifer Schmidt Daniels and her husband Jack Daniels decided to convert an 1,100 square foot grocery store in Cedarburg, Wisconsin into a veterinary clinic. The clinic was renovated with programmable thermostats, T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts, an efficient hot water heater, light sensors, LED exit signs, and outdoor high-pressure sodium lights with photocells. The renovations have resulted in about $540 annual savings, and the 5,143 kWh saved will prevent about 10,223 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. Dr. Schmidt says, “The renovations have reduced energy consumption, and increased occupant comfort and lighting levels. Safety was also improved by adding photocells to the outdoor lamps to ensure illumination during evening hours.”
Tony Samper, President of American Air Conditioning in Houston, Texas, has taken steps toward improving not only the energy performance of his facility, but his home as well. In his 1,500 square foot facility, he installed a new, efficient air-conditioner, coated the roof with reflective white polymer, replaced all incandescent bulbs with CFLs, installed window film, upgraded all attic insulation, and replaced fluorescent T12 tubes with T8 tubes. He even implemented energy savings in his residence with a state-of-the-art solar hot water system. American Air Conditioning provides a good example to its customers that smart energy investments create long-term savings that can also be repeated at home. Mr. Sampler says, “We reduced our electric bill with less heat load on the air-conditioning system. We are able to tell our customers that we did the same things we recommend to them.”
This law firm, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is completing a two-year remodel of its 2,800 square foot offices. Old style thermostats were replaced with new, programmable models; standard disposable paper return-air filters were replaced with electrostatic models; T-12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts were replaced with T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts. Additionally, the firm purchased two dehumidifiers for equipment and document storage areas to reduce humidity, improving the heating/cooling efficiency of air handling equipment by reducing wet load in higher-humidity areas.
The firm believes that besides reducing utility costs by an estimated $6,100 per year, the changes have improved employee morale, increased employee productivity by reducing eyestrain caused by poor lighting, reduced indoor office air pollution, and increased office safety by eliminating tripping hazards from extension cords or overloaded wall outlets. The 85,714 kWh saved will prevent about 101,657 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. The firm recommends that other small businesses integrate an energy efficiency plan into their space plan.
Community Mercantile in Lawrence, Kansas is no stranger to increasing energy performance in its 18,000 square foot grocery store. After winning this award last year, they remain committed to making as many energy efficiency upgrades as possible. Additional significant improvements include replacing the HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) units with new, high-efficiency models with programmable thermostats, adding a white, reflective roof with added insulation, replacing all T-12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts with T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts, replacing old windows with low-E insulated windows, installing covers on all open refrigerated cases to increase efficiency at night, installing tankless water heaters, installing LED exit lights, and replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights. Community Mercantile anticipates cost savings on utility bills of more than $55,000 each year.
The 714,286 kWh saved will prevent about 1,002,857 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. Owner Andy Lewis says, “It may be hard to convince some small businesses to make the initial investments in order to save energy, but we have learned that funding help is out there. And, with a little creativity and commitment, changes can be made to greatly enhance the quality and efficiency of any business. I was frankly amazed at the quality of savings, and how that translated into coal not being burned and CO2 and sulfur not being released into the atmosphere.”
Previously highlighted as an ENERGY STAR for small business success story, this Mexican-style restaurant located in Lakewood, Colorado remains committed to implementing its energy efficiency plan. The José O’Shea’s plan included installing energy-efficient lighting, a new, efficient HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system and improved insulation. The results can be seen and felt by the restaurant’s customers. The employees also appreciate the improved restaurant comfort and appearance. José O’Shea’s General Manager, Jim Burns, made this difficult task look easy and estimates energy savings of about $11,000 annually. The 157,143 kWh saved will prevent about 195,486 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.
Gordon Clemens, maintenance manager for Barbara’s Bakery in Sacramento, California, has been involved for many years in overseeing the efficient maintenance and operations of this 55,000 square foot small business. He knows using energy more efficiently improves the business, and not just with dollar savings. Mr. Clemens reported, The business has experienced improved productivity through better temperature control, and better working conditions though improved lighting and comfort levels. The Bakery has implemented at least seven significant projects such as improving efficiency of HVAC systems, increasing insulation levels wherever possible, and a major lighting retrofit in recent years. The Bakery is saving about $16,700 yearly, and the 239,643 kWh saved will prevent about 297,157 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. Clemens credits the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for a lot of help along the way.
The Beutler Company, located in McClellan, California, specializes in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. After the company had outgrown their facility, they remodeled and moved into a 17,000 square foot, two-story office area, as part of the conversion of McClellan Air Force Base. They made extensive structural and lighting upgrades, and were able to eliminate approximately 60% of the existing lighting fixtures—improving lighting quality while saving energy. Upon starting the improvement to the offices they found that the existing lamps had been on for four years. Beyond using the off switch, Beutler found creative ways to work through financing difficulties caused by the federal/state property ownership. SMUD, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, devised a creative use of collateral to secure the loan on the warehouse portion of the project. The firm expects annual savings of about $20,000, and the 296,000 kWh saved will prevent about 367,040 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.
Previously highlighted as an ENERGY STAR for small business success story, Vic’s IGA Market is a 29,000 square foot grocery in Sacramento, California. This award proves their continued successful implementation of the overall energy performance strategy that they began more than four years ago. They most recently replaced interior lights, installed a new compressor and made other changes to increase cost savings on energy while improving customer and employee comfort. The 685,715 kWh saved will prevent about 850,286 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. Owner Vic D’Stefani says that this upgrade was the best improvement he has done, and recommends that every small business evaluate their lighting, equipment and maintenance costs to find ways to save on their energy bills. Energy specialists at Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) were of great help, according to D’Stefani. Good advice from a small business owner who achieved more than $48,000 in annual savings from energy upgrades.
The Rancho Murieta Association in Rancho Murieta, California oversees a gated community with a large number of public buildings and expansive grounds. This includes buildings, lakes, roads, public area lighting, parks and recreation areas, and a child-care facility/preschool. In its facilities, which measure 10,000 square feet, the Association replaced a heater that had been in place for more than 30 years with a cutting-edge heat-pump system that provides annual energy savings of more than $5,800. The 68,571 kWh saved will prevent about 82,423 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. The Rancho Murieta Association members (residential property owners) were grateful for the assistance provided by energy specialists at Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), and proud that their community invested in technology to save money and help protect the environment. The Association’s Greg Forster indicated, Comfort levels for all the varied zones were dramatically improved. Office staff no longer had to wear sweaters to survive the chill from the chiller.
The Spaans Cookie Company’s 4,500 square foot office building was built in the early 1900s in the historic town of Galt, California. The Spaans family has owned and operated the company since 1896—that’s 105 years of family ownership. Over the years many improvements have been made to their buildings and operations, always making energy efficiency a consideration. Recently, a project was undertaken to completely upgrade one office building, which was originally an old bar and restaurant. This has included a major lighting retrofit (inside and out), HVAC controls, insulation, flooring, and windows. The Spaans company expects annual savings of more than $2,300. The 30,570 kWh saved will prevent about 37,907 pounds of CO2 emissions each year. Company President, Jim Spaans, who oversaw the project, says, “Needless to say, with a very old building there were challenges with wiring, codes, permits, and deadlines with contractors. A very clear benefit is that we set an example of what can be done to bring an old building up-to-date and make it efficient, while maintaining historical presence.”
Turn On To America (TOTA) is a nonprofit organization located in Lafayette, California that is doing all it can to counter rising utility costs for its 4,000 square foot facility. TOTA converted to CFLs for lighting, and installed ENERGY STAR labeled windows, refrigerators, washer/dryer, and insulation—all of which were donated. TOTA has responded by trying to become as energy efficient as possible and will continue to implement an energy performance plan to maximize costs savings, which helps it to continue its good work. Larry Simons, executive director, says, “As a charity, it is important for us to show that we use donors’ money as efficiently as possible, and tightly control our operating costs. Our answer is to become as energy efficient as possible.”
Watt Executive Plaza, a 65,000 square foot apartment building in Sacramento, California, asked its local utility, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), for assistance in making their space more energy efficient. Because this facility was mass metered, the customers did not see a direct bill, and had no price signal to encourage a reduction in waste. The property manager had to ensure that all utility costs were collected from tenants, but it was a challenge to ensure the equitable distribution of energy costs. An energy management system was installed to assist in determining energy use per tenant. HVAC systems were upgraded to variable speed drives, which allows the economizers to control use of the compressors.
The annual savings so far have been $17,131, and the 241,964 kWh saved will prevent about 300,035 pounds of CO2 emissions yearly—making the Plaza a good role model for the community. Mary Williams, property manager, says, “Tenants were very pleased with the office lighting improvements, and the building owner was pleased with the addition of controls to assist in managing the building. Extended-life lamps will reduce the frequency of needed maintenance.”
This year’s Special Award Winners have demonstrated outstanding support for energy efficiency and for ENERGY STAR, and deserve our official thanks and recognition.
President & CEO (retired), Rayvern Lighting Supply Company, Inc.
Helen Anderson has been a national business leader and environmental activist for years, chairing the environmental section of the White House Small Business Conference in 1998. She and her husband purchased the Rayvern Lighting Supply Company in 1991. “We thought we could do more for the environment through business than through lobbying and regulation,” she states. Rayvern was the first lighting distributor in California to become an ally of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Lights Program.
Ms. Anderson is a leading advocate of business use of energy efficiency technology and ENERGY STAR, as a Trustee of National Small Business United. She supported energy efficiency technology and ENERGY STAR as Director of the Women’s Enterprise Development Corporation in CA. She has also served as Vice-Chair of California Small Business Association, and chair of the Environment Committee of the California Small Business Association, where she supported energy efficiency technology and ENERGY STAR. Ms. Anderson led efforts for energy efficiency technology and ENERGY STAR with the Los Angeles chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), which honored her as the Woman Business Owner of the Year in 1997. Helen Anderson is an outspoken advocate of energy efficiency, and ENERGY STAR in relation to this year’s energy challenge, and has earned this Award.
SMUD was the first utility to work with ENERGY STAR for small business in exemplary manner, generating success stories and award applications in 1999, 2000, and 2001. They worked with Region 9 in 2000 and 2001 to publicize and present awards in local events. All in all, SMUD contributed a dozen success stories, and model support for ENERGY STAR with promotion, providing tech support, and securing loans for small business customers to complete upgrade projects.
This two-year, $16.5 million pilot program promotes the ENERGY STAR partnership, and labeled products, working with utilities, product/service providers, small businesses, and congregations. Most of our 146 Wisconsin partners are attributed to this program, including three award winners and four success stories.
The ASBDC is the official field outreach arm of the US Small Business Administration, with a network of about 1,100 full-time and 300 part-time offices. Approximately 600,000 small business owner/operators spend at least one-hour in “face-to-face” meetings in SBDC offices each year. ENERGY STAR brochures and other materials have been distributed in SBDC offices since 1996. ENERGY STAR for small business has been invited to provide workshops, and an exhibit booth at each national conference since 1996, leading to direct working relationships with several state and local SBDCs. In 2001, two Florida small business award winners were a direct result of SBDC support for ENERGY STAR. In 2000, the Pennsylvania SBDCs achieved state funding for five energy/environmental specialists, and in 2001 coordinated an ENERGY STAR mailing to all Pennsylvania restaurant clients of SBDCs. The partnership between ENERGY STAR for small business and the ASBDC has proven invaluable in helping small businesses across the country save money and energy.