Alice Celebre grows organic produce and herbs at Basil Brook Farm, which she sells to retail customers at Basil Bandwagon Natural Market in Flemington, NJ. Ms. Celebre wanted her new 6,000 square foot store to be an example of energy efficiency for her neighborhood, and incorporated energy efficiency into the design. She also began to offer free workshops to assist others in becoming more energy efficient.
In planning the store in the heart of the town's shopping center, Ms. Celebre brought day lighting into windowless offices and other areas of the store with ENERGY STAR qualified solatubes. Solatubes are tubular skylights that capture sunlight from the roof of the building. Sunlight is then redirected down a highly reflective shaft and diffused throughout the interior space. Light emitting diode (LED) exit signs improve both energy efficiency and safety, and T-8 fluorescent systems with electronic ballasts round out a highly efficient lighting system. A high-efficiency air conditioning system, a natural gas demand (tankless) hot water heater and ceiling fans were also installed. To address heating and cooling losses, caulking is maintained around windows, doors and construction joints, an air lock area is present at the entrance of the store, and a door was installed to separate the conditioned store space from the unconditioned delivery area. Finally, an insulated room encapsulates the walk-in refrigerator and freezer, and an ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator was purchased for the juice bar.
These investments are generating annual savings for Basil Bandwagon Natural Market of nearly 103,000 KWh of electricity and 500 Therms of natural gas, and are preventing emissions of nearly 175,000 pounds of CO2 per year. The total estimated annual energy cost savings are $7,800.
Mechanicsburg, PA, is the home of Gehman & Co., a food sales company that took possession of an outdated supermarket in late 2003. As part of the remodel, Owner Hans Gehman contacted the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center at Kutztown University for an energy audit. Gehman made strategic investment in energy efficiency part of his business plan and one of the goals for the store’s remodeling. Based on the suggestions of the auditor, energy efficient HVAC equipment was installed, and programmable thermostats were added to further enhance the energy efficiency of the heating and cooling system. Other recommendations incorporated in the remodel included occupancy sensors in the restrooms, disconnecting extra water heaters, and a new lighting system.
Gehman reported that combing T-8s with electronic ballasts and MR-16 spots not only reduced lighting costs, but that the upgrade reduces waste heat which saves on cooling costs. The lighting upgrade, therefore, improved comfort as well as work space aesthetics. Gehman & Co. is realizing $4,700 in annual energy savings as a result of reductions of more than 67,100 kWh of electricity. These reductions translate into the prevention of nearly 107,500 pounds of CO2 emissions.
Music Mart, Inc., a full line music store and repair center offering both new and used musical instruments and supplies, has operated in downtown State College, PA for more than 50 years. . Music Mart President Tom Gallagher enlisted the help of the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for an on-site energy assessment by their Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP). The assessment found that Music Mart’s heavy use of incandescent lighting and spotlights to showcase musical instruments generated a significant heat load that made necessary the use of three window/wall mounted air conditioners, even during winter months. Furthermore, these older air conditioners had a combined seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of only 2.075, as opposed to new air conditioners that have a SEER rating of at least 10 and as high as 15.
As a result of the EMAP assessment, Music Mart began upgrading their lighting to use 15-watt capsule lights, and by December, 2005 they had replaced all 52 incandescent and metal halide bulbs in the retail area with compact fluorescent lights (CFL) with reflectors. The upgrade to CFLs not only reduced lighting energy usage, but also improved customer and worker comfort by decreasing the heat while maintaining lighting level and quality. Music Mart also replaced two of the old air conditioners with ENERGY STAR qualified units with timers. Before the upgrade the air conditioners were still running at Christmas, but with the reduced heat load from the improved lighting, they are now turned off by early October. As a result of this effort, the 1,275 square foot store has reduced its electricity consumption by 29,000 kWh, and is saving $1,840 a year, while reducing CO2 emissions by nearly 47,000 pounds annually.
RBR — Recumbent BikeRiders, Inc. opened their 970 square foot store in State College, PA in 2002, and today sells a variety of recumbent bikes to customers across the US. In mid-2004, Rob Gentry, President of RBR, contacted the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to request an energy assessment. During the assessment, infrared scanning demonstrated significant heat loss through the store’s 20 year old single pane windows. The assessment also revealed that the same windows allowed in measurable ultraviolet (UV) light that was damaging inventory.
RBR implemented EMAP recommendations to upgrade the windows and main entrance door to ENERGY STAR qualified double-paned low-e windows (U < 3.5) and a storm door, and as the door insulation improved, the seal of the door-to-frame interface tightened and air-infiltration decreased, so less heated/cooled air is lost. RBR also upgraded from T-12 fluorescent lamp fixtures with magnetic ballasts to energy efficient T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts. To help in financing the project, RBR was able to take advantage of a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Small Business Advantage Grant, which covered a significant portion of the upgrades to ENERGY STAR qualified products. The efficiency improvements reduced RBR’s energy consumption by 33%, for savings estimated at $860 annually. Electricity use was reduced by nearly 1,580 kWh, and gas consumption was reduced by about 56 therms, resulting in an emission reduction of more than 3,360 pounds of CO2 annually.
Since 1951, Susquehanna Fire Equipment Co. has sold innovative fire equipment, services, and training throughout Pennsylvania to protect lives and property, and operates out of a free-standing 6,600 square foot facility in Dewart, PA. Company president Max Foust scheduled an energy assessment from the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) to determine how his business could save on energy costs.
Based on the results of the assessment, the company removed lighting fixtures in areas where lighting was higher than recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) standards, and the removal of ten 4x4 T-12 fixtures enabled the company to save $450 annually. Infrared scanning conducted during the assessment showed significant heat loss through entrance doors and the building’s roof. The company invested $27 in door seals on three doors, which paid for themselves in less than three months. To further address heating and cooling losses, Susquehanna Fire Equipment also added new insulation and a roof membrane. As a result of these improvements, Susquehanna Fire Equipment Co. is saving more than $2,280 in annual energy costs by reducing electricity consumption by more than 28,500 kWh, which also prevents 45,660 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.
When the only grocery store in Hughesville, PA closed, the 18,000 square foot store sat vacant for over a year before Pauline and George Montgomery, operators of the town’s pharmacy, decided to purchase it and open a full service grocery store and pharmacy. The Montgomery’s were aware of the slim profit margins that face grocers, and suspected that improving their energy efficiency could help their bottom line performance. They arranged a free energy assessment from the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) from the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which resulted in recommendations for several profitable energy efficiency upgrades for TJ Markets.
To begin, lighting in the store was improved by replacing T-12 fluorescent fixtures with magnetic ballasts with T-8 lamps and fixtures with electronic ballasts. The more efficient lighting also improved color quality. Additionally, TJ Markets makes full use of the natural daylight to illuminate the front of the store. The positioning of the windows spanning the front of the store was designed to maximize the capture of natural daylight. They found that the amount of light from an opening allowing one square meter of direct sunlight is equal to about fifty-five 100-watt bulbs, at no energy cost and with superior color quality. The Montgomery’s also installed ten programmable thermostats throughout the store at a cost of $1,500, to better control heating/ventilation/air-conditioning (HVAC) performance. This portion of the project paid for itself in less than 3 months based on the annual savings of $4,840. In all, TJ Markets reduced its costs about $8,600 annually by saving 98,941 kWh of electricity, while eliminating 158,306 pounds of CO2 emissions. At the same time, TJ Markets has improved the illumination of its products for consumers.
Michael and Susan Tripp opened their 1,400 square foot restaurant and grill in North Bend, PA in 2002, knowing that restaurants are among the most energy intensive businesses for their size and sales. They contacted the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) at the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center to request an energy audit, hoping to decrease their energy costs and improve their bottom line.
Another EMAP recommendation was to invest in one six-door walk-in cooler to replace four inefficient beverage coolers in the dining area of the Six Pack Shop. Seals on the older cooler were allowing chilled air to escape, and even worse, compressors from the coolers exhausted heat into the room, making it harder and more expensive to cool the space in summer. The change resulted in a $150 savings in the first month alone, while also improving employee and customer comfort in the summer months. The cost of a new ENERGY STAR qualified freezer to replace older freezers in the Six Pack Shop was partially subsidized by a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection grant. Annually, Tripp’s Grill & Six Pack is saving more than $1,900 in electricity costs due to reducing usage by more than 31,700 kWh, which is also preventing nearly 50,800 pounds of CO2 emissions.
Three Shell gasoline stations and convenience stores in Yuma, AZ, financed a major energy efficiency upgrade with a loan from US Energy Capital of Atlanta, GA coordinated with installation services from APS Energy Services of Phoenix. The strategically coordinated finance and upgrade produced a “positive cash flow” in which the monthly loan payments are less than the amount the facilities are saving on energy. The stations, operated by Myobz LLC of Carlsbad, CA, range in size from 2,600 square feet to 7,000 square feet, with operating hours ranging from 18 hours to 24 hours daily. Both exterior and interior lighting are crucial to marketing to motorists and are a major energy cost, so this was the first consideration in the upgrade.
Interior lighting was upgraded from T-12 fixtures with magnetic ballasts to T-8 fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts, and new T-5/HO fixtures were used in the outside canopies. These improvements not only save money, but can help increase sales with higher and better quality exterior illumination to enhance retail merchandising. New programmable thermostats reduced overall energy usage of the HVAC units and improved comfort and control, while the installation of new heat pumps reduced electricity consumption and the risk of product and sales loss from unit failure.
Another upgrade implemented by Myobz was the installation of door “misers” in the convenience stores’ refrigerated glass display cases. Cases in grocery/convenience stores contain heating strips that prevent moisture forming on the cold glass and frames. These small heaters typically operate continuously even though they are necessary only a fraction of the time. Door misers monitor the units for condensation, and allow the heat strips to turn on only when condensation is detected. In addition, new evaporative coolers were installed to reduce energy use of walk-in cooler fans by 40% to 50%, which also reduces compressor operation and increases the life of the fan motors. The $120,000 upgrade implemented by Myobz LLC is producing annual savings of $24,000 by saving 180,000 kWh of electricity, while preventing 288,000 pounds of C02 emissions each year.