Energy Efficient Business Contributes to City Savings

5 years 11 months 2 weeks 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
MOBERLY - Moberly police officers responded to a domestic assault at 1028 Sinnock Ave., at 2:48 a.m. Friday, February 21,... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 10:45:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - "Honest" and "righteous" are just a couple of words friends used to describe Columbia City Councilman Clyde Ruffin.... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 5:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Water & Light plans to perform water valve repairs at the intersection of North College Avenue and... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:57:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport with American Airlines are proposing a new daily nonstop air service to Charlotte, North Carolina... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:49:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded $7.3 million to nonprofit's through its Neighborhood Assistance Program this week.... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:25:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police arrested a Jefferson City man in connection to an armed robbery on Jan. 7 at the... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:23:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
WARDSVILLE - Blair Oaks wrestling sent seven qualifiers to the state championship this weekend in Columbia. Among them is senior... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 3:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced a large gift from alumni Friday to support the university's NextGen Precision Health... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 3:02:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
HUNTSVILLE - A Moberly man allegedly ran from Randolph County deputies Thursday after they attempted to stop him for careless... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 2:49:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - A suspect is in custody nearly 30 years after the death of a Russellville teenager, according to... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 2:24:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged a woman with murder Friday in connection with a deadly home invasion and shooting in early... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 2:17:52 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
FULTON - Three Fulton Middle School students are proving that kids can make an lasting impact. Khiauna Gay, Gabby... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 1:13:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Four months after a Columbia woman, Mengqi Ji, went missing, many local businesses still have the flyers on... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 1:09:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
CONWAY, AR – A barbershop in Arkansas is helping its community open up about mental health. Picture Perfect has become... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 12:30:37 PM CST February 21, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - Boone County Counts will hold the latest in a series of outreach meetings about the 2020 Census on... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 5:00:00 AM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Empower Missouri spearheaded a letter to Gov. Mike Parson to try to reinstate a tax incentive program for... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:02:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A head-on collision between a school bus and a SUV blocked both sides of North Route Z. ... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 6:41:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Leonard Jerome Wilson, 41, a former Camden County Sheriff's deputy, was sentenced to 8 years of federal... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 4:47:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 26°
8am 31°
9am 36°
10am 41°
11am 46°