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Coastal Seafoods – Saving Money, Saving Energy
MINNEAPOLIS – Coastal Seafoods will keep energy costs down this year.
The Twin Cities seafood retailer and wholesaler recently underwent a lighting audit and upgrade at both its Minneapolis and its Saint Paul locations.
“It was easy. I was pleasantly surprised. People over at the Saint Paul store were ecstatic,” says Suzanne Weinstein, who has owned Coastal Seafoods since opening the business 27 years ago. With rebates from Xcel Energy, Coastal Seafoods will see a 1 ½ -2 ½ year payback on the upgrades.
“It was definitely worth it,” says Weinstein. “I’d never done it before because I expected it to cost more.” After rebates, upgrades at the Minneapolis store cost about $3400 and upgrades at the Saint Paul store cost about $640. The annual savings from the upgrades is estimated to be $1700.
After being contacted by Energy Smart in July, Weinstein took advantage of a One-Stop Efficiency Shop free lighting audit in late summer. One Stop recommended replacing the overhead T-12 fluorescent bulbs with more efficient T-8 bulbs. In the Minneapolis facility’s cooler, the audit recommended replacing very high output (VHO) lights to T-8s as well. The upgrades were done through West Star Electric, and it took three to four weeks to retrofit both stores.
The Shortened Payback Cycle: T-8 Lighting Upgrades
When Suzanne Weinstein upgraded the lighting at both locations of Coastal Seafoods, the estimated savings her business will see is $1700 a year on energy costs. To help bring down the initial cost of the upgrade, Weinstein received an Xcel Energy rebate offered through the utility’s Conservation Improvement Program.
Many utilities offer dollar amount rebates for T-8 bulbs and electronic ballasts. If you are in the process of installing new fluorescent bulbs, you or your electrician can contact your utility or visit your utility’s website to download a rebate claim form. As always, contact Energy Smart at any time for help at (651) 292-4652.
Bailey Nurseries Achieves Triple Bottom Line Savings
NEWPORT — Fall is the time of year when Bailey Nurseries puts much of their inventory of plants to sleep for the winter, but the Green Team never rests. In addition to making recommendations to improve the company’s waste reduction and water conservation practices, the Bailey Nurseries Green Team has been taking a closer look at energy use over the last year.
The company recently upgraded the lighting in its Behlen cold storage warehouses, an area equaling the square footage of 11 football fields. Thanks to the facility’s lighting upgrades, Bailey Nurseries will save about $8000 a year in energy costs.
“It’s important for our people who work in here,” says Peggy Montgomery, Horticulturist and Media Relations at Bailey Nurseries. “Actually, this is nicer light and it takes a lot of light to burn through the humidity in here.” The cold storage area must be kept at 38 degrees and 98% humidity to keep the plants alive over the winter.
The new lighting is expected to have a 3 year payback. This estimate does not include the savings resulting from the new bulbs’ lower heat production. The old bulbs added over 1000 degrees in heat while the new bulbs add just 100 degrees in heat. Because the new bulbs require less cooling to take place, and cooling removes moisture in the air, less energy is wasted re-humidifying the cold storage area as a result of the bulbs’ heat.
“We don’t want to be cooling or heating anything more than what we have to,” says Montgomery.
Bailey Nurseries’ propagation farm in Hastings, Minn. also uses an Energy Q-Com System to monitor conditions closely, automatically opening and closing greenhouse windows and vents 24 hours a day as needed.
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© Copyright 2019 Minnesota Energy Smart. All rights reserved. Energy Smart is an energy efficiency consulting program which works in close partnership with the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation, a 510(c)3 nonprofit, and Connexus Energy. Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation is an affiliate of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.