Located in the same building since 1922, the store had an air conditioner that was not getting the job done. Searching for an AC upgrade actually led to a solution for inadequate lighting as well. Over the years, Tuesley had heard about Pacific Power’s incentive program from other local business owners, at a chamber event and from newspaper ads. When his air conditioning needed to be replaced he decided to look into the program.
Pacific Power’s wattsmart® Business program offers cash incentives and technical assistance to upgrade lighting and other equipment that increases energy efficiency. Retrofit or new construction projects are eligible.
For the project, Tuesley chose a Pacific Power wattsmart® Business Vendor and noted that the contractor knew what the store needed and quickly got everything rolling. A new unitary 3-phase air-cooled package AC unit was selected and the change was significant in keeping the store comfortable through Yakima’s hot summer months.
With the AC project, Tuesley learned about enhanced wattsmart incentives for small businesses available for LED lighting upgrades. A lighting coordinator performed a lighting analysis at the store, which estimated the energy and cost savings from improvements. Seeing the incentives available and learning about an option for financing the remaining project costs helped finalize his decision to proceed. “Having the one-stop shop – electrician, incentives, financing – made it really simple to coordinate the project. The money came through on deadline and everybody knew what they had to do to get it done in time,” said Tuesley.
Pacific Power teams up with HBC Energy Capital, a firm specializing in energy efficiency project financing. HBC partners with a variety of capital providers to connect customers with the right kind of financing for their energy project. This financing solution is provided as a convenience, but customers are free to use any lender of their choice.
The lighting was upgraded to LED in the entire building – including the exterior neon signage and interior fluorescent suspended fixtures, which were replaced with tubular LED. “We have variable ceiling heights and the LED evened out pockets that used to be dark. It’s much more even and balanced now. It has been especially beneficial in the framing department where customers are bringing in artwork,” said Tuesley.
Before the upgrade they did their best to provide pleasing, effective lighting but that was hard with fluorescents. Employees and customers have noticed a difference and have commented about being able to see more detail because the lighting is brighter and natural-looking.
Yakima Bindery’s HVAC and lighting improvements are saving approximately 36,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly. This usage reduction translates into $2,900 in annual energy cost savings. The retailer earned $19,185 in Pacific Power incentives to help offset the cost of the upgrades, plus shave over six years off the project’s simple payback. Before the lighting project, Tuesley put power meters on the lights. The power usage on the new lights has dropped by a third. “It was dramatic to watch.”
Another plus – the time savings. “I don’t have to spend as much time replacing fluorescent tubes. It seemed like every week I had to get out the ladder to replace another fluorescent tube,” he said. LED lighting lasts two-to-five times longer than fluorescent or HID lighting, reducing maintenance time and lamp replacement costs. “This is a no-brainer. The power savings are there. The people that put it together did a really good job and worked around our schedule for installation.”
Pacific Power provides a variety of options to help our commercial, industrial and agricultural customers in Washington and California build energy efficiency into new construction and retrofit projects. The wattsmart® program offers technical expertise and cash incentives for lighting, HVAC, industrial processes and more.
PROJECT FINANCING METRICS
Net Monthly Cash Flow
|PROJECT FINANCING SUMMARY|
|Xcel Energy Rebates||$22,400|
|Est. Annual Energy Savings||155,568 kWh|
|Payback Term||5.1 years|
|OPERATING EXPENSE REDUCTION|
(Energy & Maintenance)
|Ten Year Savings|
(Energy & Maintenance)
Cost of Delay (6 months of lost savings)
We didn’t invent financing—we just make it a whole lot simpler. HBC Energy Capital improves your close rates for clean energy projects with a three-step process that is simple for your field advisors, contractors, and customers. Commercial financing for energy efficiency comes in many different shapes and sizes, making it difficult to know which forms are best suited for your particular project. At HBC Energy Capital, we are a one-stop shop for multiple financing vehicles with the resources and expertise to address nearly every clean energy finance opportunity that comes our way.
Want to learn more about the financing products we work with? See our finance toolkit.