Energy Efficient Business Contributes to City Savings

4 years 10 months 1 week ago Friday, March 07 2014 Mar 7, 2014 Friday, March 07, 2014 5:08:00 PM CST March 07, 2014 in News
By: Alyssa Strickland, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

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
COLUMBIA - The friend of a man killed on Sarazen Drive over the weekend says investigators told him John Albers... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 3:46:00 PM CST January 16, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A University of Missouri-Kansas City professor has resigned after being accused of coercing foreign graduate students... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 2:46:00 PM CST January 16, 2019 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A Missouri health provider will have to pay tens of millions of dollars to a former patient... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 1:13:00 PM CST January 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Applications are now available for a giveaway designed to provide computers for low-income families. The city relinquishes... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 12:26:00 PM CST January 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Attorney general Eric Schmitt announced a settlement with Fiat Chrysler and auto parts supplier Bosch over unlawful... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 11:05:00 AM CST January 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri will open residence halls a day earlier than planned amid predictions of another winter... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 10:04:00 AM CST January 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Governor Mike Parson will give his first State of the State address in the Missouri House... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 7:25:00 AM CST January 16, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Staring down the next deadline to pay federal workers, the White House shifted tactics, trying to bypass... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 4:57:00 AM CST January 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayoral incumbent Brian Treece and opponent, Chris Kelly, faced off in the second mayoral candidate forum Tuesday. ... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 9:27:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
Watch KOMU 8 newscasts and download the KOMU WX app for live coverage and alerts. COLUMBIA - Another winter... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 8:30:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in Weather
OVERLAND (AP) — The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is investigating a fatal shooting outside a McDonald's restaurant... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 4:37:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A new bill before the Senate would ban texting and driving for drivers of all ages. It's... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 4:24:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City police say people at one address fired 360 shots from at least nine guns... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:46:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
OSAGE BEACH – A Sunrise Beach woman who worked at a Zales Outlet Store admitted to stealing a diamond bracelet... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:43:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The woman accused of killing 4-year-old Darnell Gray waived the formal reading on her arraignment on Tuesday and... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:00:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - When Tiwan Lewis lost her home to a fire in December 2017, she found herself experiencing homelessness.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 2:55:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A central Missouri prosecutor's office has been ordered to pay $36,000 for failing to provide records... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 2:23:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, (AP) — Missouri House lawmakers on Tuesday voted against protections for LGBT staffers and gave themselves the option... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 2:09:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
5pm 34°
6pm 34°
7pm 34°
8pm 34°