Energy Efficient Business Contributes to City Savings

2 years 6 months 3 weeks ago March 07, 2014 Mar 7, 2014 Friday, March 07 2014 Friday, March 07, 2014 5:08:00 PM CST in News
By: Alyssa Strickland, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - A Columbia company is making green changes that could improve the city's overall energy efficiency. It could mean savings for Columbia and its cost of electricity.

EnergyLink provides energy solutions and installations for commercial and residential businesses. After installing solar panels at Columbia Safety, an industrial and commercial supply company, EnergyLink transformed the business into Columbia's largest net zero electric consumption building. A net zero building means the structure is producing as much energy as it consumes, making the building a "Green Business."

CEO of EnergyLink Chris Ihler said the upgrade began in July 2013 and took a few months. Columbia Safety President Beau Aero said the project is something that he has cared about for some time now.

"It made sound business sense for us to look at one, making our building as efficient as possible, and two, looking at ways that we could reduce our expenses using federal and local incentives," Aero said.

The 140 solar panels are divided into three regions on the roof- the east, central, and west. The energy comes off of the roof and transfers into three inverters, known as a meter base, which is labeled to match the regions on the roof. The meter base keeps track of how much solar energy is going into the building or going back out to the city's grid. Aero said the meter tracks in real time the kilowatt [energy output] reductions that are happening at that given second.

"Any power that is generated on the roof goes directly to the grid," Aero said. "So none of it is wasted, it goes directly into the grid to be used in that moment." 

Ihler said the grid refers to the power lines that are seen above and below the ground throughout the city.

According to a report provided by EnergyLink the effectiveness of the solar panel system has saved the equivalence of 173 acres of forest, 44 passenger cars removed from the side of the road, or 11 entire homes off of the city's power grid.

"It's two-folded," Aero said. "It's about making a sound business decision, and being as environmentally friendly as possible."

Aero said the panels have also helped reduce electricity costs. Ihler said that's important because costs are rising about four percent in Columbia.

"The energy bills have been slashed," Aero said. "When you see the bills come the mail, it really starts to make sense that this is real."

According to an EnergyLink report, Columbia Safety will be saving $20, 529 per year. Aero said his electric bill is now zero.

"We're quite proud of it," Aero said. "It's been a very good decision for us, and we couldn't encourage enough people to continue with the development of that kind of system, and put as many of those in as possible."  

Aero said the interesting thing is that it's not just for one year, it's every year that the solar radiation will be converted into electricity.

"Every day I pray for sun," Aero said. "Given the fact that it's beautiful, but it's [also] because it's paying us back every time the sun is out."

Ihler said the company would be able to pay off the upgrades in four to five years.  

[Photos courtesy of Columbia Safety]

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man with a criminal history has been convicted in a string of armed... More >>
26 minutes ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 8:14:00 AM CDT in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — An Independence man has been convicted in a deadly October 2014 shooting. The Kansas City... More >>
1 hour ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:00:00 AM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY- Deputies arrested a man for numerous felony drug charges Wednesday afternnon, the Callaway County Sheriff's Office said. ... More >>
8 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:11:00 AM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - A hiker fell 30 feet down a 200 foot cliff Wednesday night at Devil's Backbone. The... More >>
10 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Following a racially charged incident on the University of Missouri campus on Tuesday night, the Legion of Black... More >>
11 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:43:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - It's deer season, and MoDOT is reminding drivers to watch out for deer because they are on the... More >>
13 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Veterans in Columbia are getting an opportunity to learn about owning a business at the Boots to Business:... More >>
13 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:41:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Police in the southeast Missouri town of Cape Girardeau are investigating the shooting death of a... More >>
14 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:31:46 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Central Missouri Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored local police officers at an award ceremony Wednesday night. ... More >>
14 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:20:00 PM CDT in News
ROCHEPORT- MoDOT will close one westbound lane of the Rocheport Bridge that carries I-70 over the Missouri River Thursday. ... More >>
14 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Some University of Missouri students said they are saddened and embarrassed by the racist incident that occurred on... More >>
15 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 5:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A pizza delivery driver told police a man robbed him at gunpoint while he was making a... More >>
15 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 5:00:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a former police officer who allegedly punched... More >>
15 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 4:54:56 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The board of West Broadway Swim Club in Columbia has apologized for pollution of Harmony Creek, after the... More >>
17 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 3:22:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri's chapter of Delta Upsilon Fraternity was placed on emergency suspension following Tuesday night's incidents... More >>
17 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 2:58:00 PM CDT in News
HALLSVILLE – Boone Medical Group hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Hallsville location Wednesday. Boone Hospital President... More >>
17 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 2:52:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An attorney for a man serving a life sentence for his role in a 1988 explosion... More >>
18 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 2:23:56 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A lawsuit accusing Gov. Jay Nixon of age and gender discrimination has been delayed as more... More >>
20 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:32:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
9am 56°
10am 60°
11am 64°
12pm 67°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld