When examining the cost of running the business, Roland Gamelin thought there might be a way of achieving some savings by investing in some new technology. As the Director of Operations at the AutoServ Dealer Group in Tilton, one of the nagging expenses was the monthly bill to illuminate the dealer’s vast car lot.
“We were looking at lowering our energy costs as well as updating our lighting and HVAC units with more energy efficient units,” says Roland. But financing for businesses and nonprofits to pay for things like energy upgrades can be hard to find.
Roland turned to CDFA’s Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF), which provided the resources for organizations to invest in cost-saving initiatives. EEF is just one of CDFA’s revolving loan funds dedicated to energy improvement. The other is the Municipal Energy Reduction Fund (MERF), a program that allows cities and towns to get low-cost loans for efficiency projects. Solutions can range from new windows and improved insulation to electrical retrofits or alternative fuel sources. Most of the upgrades pay for themselves in just three to seven years.
Through EEF, CDFA was able to hook Roland up with an energy auditor who looked for ways for the business to save power and money. They found that not only were the floodlights inefficient, but there was a lot of overlapping wasted light. They recommended the car dealer switch to LED lights, but mount them lower to the ground for better coverage. The effort immediately impacted their bottom line.
“The end result was worth the effort,” says Roland. “We have cut our utility bill by about 18% and our energy savings is about 22%.”
When it comes to curbing operational costs, some New Hampshire businesses know when they’ve seen the light.