Reducing Power Consumption: Inspiring Stories of Success
- Subway franchise owner Steve Kaplan is now saving over $20,000 a year in energy costs, simply because he decided to evaluate the energy efficiency of seven of his Subway locations in Oklahoma. He found that by using energy-efficient lighting, he could reduce the number of lamps used and make his produce look more appealing thanks to the better color rendering of the new lamps.He also installed highly efficient air conditioner units, tinted windows, and ceiling fans, which allowed him to increase the summer thermostat by 3 to 5 degrees while still maintaining comfort levels. Each upgrade had a 3-year payback or better, meaning savings quickly turned to profits.
- In March of 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named Food Lion an Energy Star “Partner of the Year” in response to the supermarket chain’s effort to reduce energy consumption. The North Carolina-based grocer is now using energy efficient lighting, refrigeration, and heating and cooling systems to reduce power consumption by 86,000 kWh per year, thereby preventing the release of about 127,400 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, in each new store.
- When the Iredell-Statesville school district in North Carolina needed to build a new elementary school, administrators decided to adopt the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating system, known as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Although the building was a little more expensive than a similarly sized school, the resource-saving features paid for themselves in less than 3 years and allowed the school to operate at two-thirds of the cost of the buildings it replaced, meaning initial investments turned quickly to profits that the school could use for education. Third Creek Elementary School opened in August, 2002, and utilized features such as daylighting, high performance windows, various levels of lighting control, and occupancy sensors. In the first year of operation, standardized test scores skyrocketed from 65 percent to 79.8 percent, and the principal, for one, has attributed much of the gains to daylighting and other “green” practices used by the building.
- Jose O’Shea’s Café and Cantina in Lakewood, Colorado was able to save $11,000 a year in energy costs by simply installing energy-efficient lighting, upgrading to a more efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, and improving insulation. While saving 157,143 kWh a year, the café is now preventing the release of 195,486 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
- Rick Stein, owner and operator of the Inn at Wiccoppee located in Junction, NY decided to get a free energy audit from his utility company. By upgrading his lighting and reducing the number of freezers needed for frozen foods, the owner is now saving $1,869 a year and preventing the release of 25,000 pounds of pollution. The upgrades paid for themselves in just seven months.
- Small business owner Jonathan Pool was able to reduce the electric bill in his Seattle-based office by installing programmable thermostats, energy-efficient lighting, and window improvements. The upgrades paid for themselves in a year and a half, and now the business is saving $23,000 a year.
- While researching how humans alter the global climate, climatologist Jonathan Foley decided to apply the message from his research to his own life. He, his wife, and his five-year old daughter moved closer to where he works, reducing the family’s miles driven from 35,000 to 10,000 a year. He then set about reducing energy consumption around the house by installing devices such as a solar water heater, an energy-saving dishwasher, low-emittance windows, compact fluorescent light bulbs, insulating window quilts, and ceiling fans. Through the reduction of their oil, natural gas, and electricity consumption, the family cut their annual greenhouse gas emissions to 1,500 pounds, which is more than 65% below the national average for 2 adults. A neighbor says that Foley inspired him to install compact fluorescents in his own home, demonstrating the power of setting a good example in energy conservation.
- See More: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/businesses.html