Currie Motors Ford of Valpo is reaping the benefits of installing energy-saving lighting as part of a NIPSCO incentive program to encourage local businesses to implement responsible energy use.
The dealership received a $13,000 check from NIPSCO today, fulfilling its commitment to NIPSCO’s Custom Incentive Program, which is rewarding the dealership for installing energy-efficient lighting.
For Currie Motors Ford of Valpo, it was a natural progression. The dealership just unveiled a total remodel in October, so they considered energy savings on the front end of that project.
“When it comes to the remodel of our Valparaiso dealership, we could not be more pleased with the results,” said Leo Sfikas, general manager of Currie Motors Ford of Valpo. “Tom and Chadwick Bukur from Brilliant Energy Solutions worked closely with our local architect, Pollack Architectural Group, to design a custom engineered state-of-the-art lighting solution that would drastically reduce our existing energy consumption and showcase our vehicles in a way that outshines the competition, and we couldn’t be happier with the end result.”
Upgrading a company’s energy efficiency such as Currie’s also has a positive effect on the environment. Currie’s decision to go green will have a big impact on their electric bill. NIPSCO estimates Currie will save more than $120,000 over the next five years. To date, Currie Motors Ford of Valpo has saved more than 186,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). Officials who oversee the incentive program for NIPSO said the program is the energy company’s way of giving back to those who are responsible energy users, but who don’t qualify for their other Prescriptive Incentive Program.
“Today, the dealership was able to get 25 percent back of their total cost for upgrading their lighting,” said Byran Zicherl, field engineer for TRC Companies who oversees the rebates for the program. “NIPSCO is required to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by a certain percentage annually. One of the ways to do that is by curving the demand on the usage side of things by offering rebates for small businesses, factories, schools, churches, and even on the residential side to encourage end-users to purchase higher energy-efficient equipment by offsetting the upcharge cost.”
Currie Motors Ford of Valpo applied for the Custom Incentive Program at the time they were designing their remodel, as the program requires pre-approval of equipment before it’s ordered or installed. Currie chose Legacy Lighting equipment, which is known for saving energy by 75-85 percent. Chadwick Bukur, CEO of Brilliant Energy Solutions, said that along with lowering energy consumption, the upgrades eliminate any maintenance because the bulbs last anywhere from 20 to 30 years.
“Typically, dealerships this size are looking at six figures a year in electric bills just for the lighting, and we’re able to drop that down to around $12,000 - $13,000 annually,” he said. “There are many different factors that go into designing a system like this, whether it’s selecting quality manufactures, utilizing a higher color rendering index (CRI) and brighter color temperature for the lot fixtures, and choosing the correct optic lensing that maximizes the light distribution the most effectively.”
Zicherl said they have distributed more than $19.5 million in rebates to more than 5,000 customers through the Custom Incentive Program. Eligible projects may consist of a retrofit, or replacement of existing equipment or systems that result in energy savings. This can include, but is not limited to, lighting, HVAC, compressed air, refrigeration, food service, motors, data centers, and IT system projects. Retro-commissioning projects (the process of improving the performance and energy efficiency of building systems, equipment, and operations as a whole) may also qualify. All projects must be completed by Nov. 12, 2021, to be eligible for the Custom Incentive Program.
For more information and to apply for the incentive, visit NIPSCO’s web page here.