Foam & Wash, Poughkeepsie, New York
15,600 Sq. Feet
Annual Cash Savings: $7,564.00
Annual Energy savings: 120,731 kWh
Payback period: 3 years
Prevented 146,132 pounds of pollution
Central Hudson Gas & Electric
Todd Baright, co-owner of the Foam & Wash car wash in Poughkeepsie, New York, knows that it pays to install energy-efficient equipment right at the start. So when he and his brothers, Gary and Scott, remodeled the facility, they installed several commercially available, energy-efficient technologies — including radiant heaters, high-efficiency motors, T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts, and metal halide fixtures — that are quickly putting a high polish on his profits.
Although Baright’s car wash operation has been in business for just a few months, he is already cleaning up the profits from his initial investment in energy-efficient technologies.
The car wash uses four natural gas-fired radiant heaters. These heaters provide excellent heat while minimizing waste. Because radiant heaters warm surfaces instead of air, buildings with high ceilings and big opened doors do not need to set thermostats on high to maintain a comfortable work environment. In fact, a temperature setting of 65 degrees Fahrenheit is just fine for a comfortable interior. Baright’s decision to go with radiant heaters was right on the money. Had he decided to heat his facility with a more conventional method, he would have missed out on $1,300 in savings per year.
Baright also decided to install high-efficiency motors. The 23 motors at the Foam & Wash spray, scrub, dry, and wax to the tune of $24,700 per year in energy costs. Since these motors consume roughly 178,055 kWh annually, Baright’s decision to install high-efficiency motors was as quick as a Daytona 500 pit crew. He knew that high-efficiency motors are generally 1 to 10 percent more efficient than standard motors. It cost $2,600 more to install the high-efficiency motors, but he’s racking in an estimated $900 in savings per year.
At Foam & Wash, customers see their washed cars gleam in the crisp, clear light produced by 56 T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts and the 65 metal halide fixtures. High-quality lighting makes customers’ cars sparkle like new — an added bonus to the $5,361 a year reduction in energy costs.
In addition, Baright, buoyed by the success of his other energy-efficient upgrades, is considering replacing 39 T-12 lamps and magnetic ballasts left from the previous business with T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts. That will most likely provide another $793 in energy savings per year.
Baright wanted to make sure that his investment in energy-efficient technologies would pay off, so he requested a free energy audit from his local utility company, Central Hudson Gas & Electric. The audit analyzed all of the equipment, motors, lighting, heating and ventilation.
Baright recently received the final audit report, which breaks down energy usage by type. He found that his energy efficiency project successfully pinpointed all of those technologies that consume the most energy in his facility. By planning smartly and investing wisely, Baright’s Foam & Wash is cleaning up on profits.