Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Cold Cash: Energy Efficiency Pays Off for Patch’s Market

Ron Patch, owner of Patch’s Market & Deli. (NHEC)

New Hampshire Electric Co-op

Ron Patch knows all about the cost of doing business these days. As the owner of Patch’s Market & Deli in Glen, NH, he’s seen his costs go up on everything from the gas at the pumps to the meat in the subs. So, when the cost of power went up too, he turned to New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) and the NHSaves energy efficiency programs for help. “We’re all stuck in it together, especially with the increases in the cost of energy,” Patch said. “So, to have these programs really helps out.”

With financial incentives from NHEC totaling 50% of the project cost, and the NHEC on-bill financing program, Patch was able to invest in the energy efficiency of his business with no up-front out-of-pocket expense! The result: over 71,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity savings per year. That is more than $14,000 a year!

Like the many other small markets dotted across NHEC service area, the biggest energy savings opportunities are the general interior and exterior lighting and the coolers with the beer and soda. At Patch’s, that meant replacing fan motors that ran 24 hours a day with electrically commutating (EC) motors that operate only when needed. On a busy summer day, a steady stream of customers is in and out of the walk-in cooler, buying an estimated 300 cases of beverages a day.

The main cooler is so much more efficient now,” Patch said. “I used to have trouble keeping it defrosted but had no problem whatsoever with it this summer, which was the hottest we’ve had in years.”

He also swapped out older fluorescent lights in the 40-foot by 16-foot cooler with highly efficient LEDs, a change that Patch said elicited hundreds of comments from customers.

The product just sparkles now and they really notice it,” he said. Other efficiency measures included the installation of anti-sweat heater controls in the cooler doors. All told, Patch’s Market can expect to save more than $6,000 a year in electric costs from the cooler-retrofit measures (based on current rates).

For the interior general store lighting, Patch replaced all 52 of the old fluorescent lights with new LED fixtures which reduced the energy consumption by over ½ while greatly improving the light quality and aesthetics of the fixtures. For the exterior lighting, Patch replaced 37 old mercury-containing metal halide lamp fixtures with new LED lights that use only one-third the energy of the old lights while lasting up to 20 years! The interior and exterior lighting improvements are anticipated to save Patch’s Market around $8,000 annually!

For all of these projects, Patch was able to use NHEC’s on-bill financing program which allows commercial members to finance the portion of the project not covered by the incentive directly on the electric bill. This program offers interest-free financing with a term of up to four years to help remove any hurdles for businesses to implement energy efficiency projects.

It’s been a very successful conversion for me,” Patch said. “I came away thinking this was a win-win situation for everyone.”

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