AP NEWS

Companies Invited to Take Part in Energy-saving Actions

January 25, 2019
BSC Signs has seen significant cost-reduction since participating in an energy-savings program with Xcel Energy and other partners.

If you go

What: Broomfield Energy Savings Team interactive webinar

When: 9 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 30

Where: investbroomfield.com/best

Cost: Free

More info: Visit investbroomfield.com/best to learn more or call Jill Mendoza at 303-438-6220

An 18-month every-saving program is entering its final months with organizers making a push to get more local businesses involved.

Broomfield’s economic development department teamed up with the Broomfield Chamber, Xcel Energy and United Power to encourage local business to be part of the Broomfield Energy Savings Team

“We’d like to help raise awareness of the program,” Jill Mendoza, senior economic development specialist said. “Pretty much any business can benefit.”

To learn more about the program, the groups will host a free interactive webinar from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 30. As incentive, one attendee will receive suite-level tickets to a show of their choice at the 1stBank Center this year.

Shelby Sommer, with Brendle Group, said the group is still waiting on 2018 figures to see how many Broomfield businesses have participated, but data through mid-year showed 103 businesses took advantage of the various Demand Side Management (DSM) programs through Xcel Energy.

The Brendle Group is an engineering and planning firm focused on helping clients solve complex problems while creating lasting impacts for sustainability.

Of those, 50 participated in small business lighting improvements and rebates and 37 participated in lighting efficiency rebates.

Mendoza said she would like to see 365 energy actions logged by the end of June.

Cost savings depends on the business type and are based on the types of improvements made.

Xcel Energy partners with more than 30 communities in Colorado and Minnesota to offer these types of rebates.

Each community comes up with its own action plan, Sommer said, either focusing on residential engagement, business or municipal facilities.

“Broomfield was exclusively interested in business outreach and engagement,” she said. “We’ve been working with the Broomfield Chamber and economic development folks out there.”

John Dobie, owner of BSC Signs, had Xcel conduct an energy audit about nine months to a year ago, which immediately detected some “low-hanging fruit.”

In the company’s 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, they replaced old fluorescent lighting with LED lights. The effect has been notified, and appreciated, by employees.

“It just makes you feel more optimists working in a bright environment versus a dim environment,” he said. “It’s hard to put a financial value on that, but if it makes people feel better about working in a company, I’m all for it.”

The audit showed air leaks from the compressors used for power tools and to spray paint products, he said, and probably the largest difference BSC made was converting four manual thermostats to Nest thermostats that are computer controlled.

By fixing all of those issues, he said he is seeing about $500 a month in energy savings.

“It’s really significant,” Dobie said about the $6,000 a year savings.

Since making these adjustments employees are more conscious of their energy consumption and do little things, like turning off lights when they leave a room, to be more contentious.

He recommends the program to other businesses looking to take steps toward efficiency.

“It’s very measurable,” he said. “We look at electricity bills over the last couple of years, and look at the last six months, and it’s not ‘we think we’ve saved money.’ It’s ‘we have saved money.’”

Dobie estimates the company will have paid for the improvements after about 24 months.

Leanne Holitza, owner of The Healing Studio, said in 2018 the company fixed the garage door so it seals for better heat control, and put a heater and new lights in the garage. In 2015 she added a low-maintenance/water landscaping and added a wireless thermostat.

Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, riosj@broomfieldenterprise.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios