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RCEA energy audit reviews/Rookery Books

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Figure 1: Storefront view of Rookery Books located at 853 H street in Arcata, California (Photo by Jessica Bruce).

This webpage is an energy retrofit analysis of a local bookstore in Arcata, CA that was completed by Redwood Coast Energy Authority. [1]

Redwood Coast Energy Authority[edit]

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) provides businesses with retrofits. Retrofitting includes RCEA replacing older outdated technologies with newer more energy efficient technologies(Webster, 2009).[2] The RCEA is a Joint Power Authority that covers the seven municipals that make up Humboldt County, CA.

Rookery Books
[edit]

Rookery Books, shown in Figure 1, is a small business located on the west end of the Arcata Plaza. Rookery Books is a retail book and magazine dealer that has operated under the same ownership and at the same location for thirteen years.

The Retrofits[edit]

Figure 2: The new light fixtures replaced in Rookery Books by the RCEA(Photo by Jessica Bruce).

Prior to the RCEA's retrofits, Rookery Books used inefficient lighting. The 1,210 square foot area of Rookery Books, with six front windows, uses a mixture of natural and fluorescent light. Before the retrofits were installed, the store lighting consisted of eight foot fluorescent tubes hanging from the ceiling. The new fixtures, shown in Figure 2, were installed by the Redwood Coast Energy Authority.

Why did RCEA Choose Rookery Books?[edit]

Current funding given to the RCEA comes from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the US Department of Energy (RCEA, 2009). [3] The RCEA uses some of their funding to promote local business and resident reduction of energy usage. Rookery Books is one of many local businesses that underwent retrofitting by changing outdated light fixtures.

Retrofit Completion and Future Retrofits[edit]

The retrofits were completed by the RCEA on October 2, 2007. The new fluorescent fixtures are smaller than the previous lighting fixtures. There are now twice as many lights in Rookery Books but less overall energy consumption. There are nine light fixtures, which contain two pairs of four foot fluorescent tubes, which equates to 36 fluorescent lights in total. The new fluorescent lights have been running for two years and the store owner has not had to replace any tubes, even though the lights are on six days a week, approximately 300 days a year.

Rookery Books is currently not considering other retrofits to improve the energy efficiency of the business.

Energy Savings[edit]

Table 1: A comparison of measured CO2 emissions released on a monthly basis before and after the retrofits. [4].
Time Period
Average Monthly Energy Usage (kWh)
CO2 Produced Per Month (pounds/month)
Before Retrofit (10/06-09/07)
626
328
First Year After Retrofit (10/07-09/08)
532
278
Second Year After Retrofit (10/08-9/09)
468
241

Rookery Books' environmental impacts have decreased through lowered energy consumption. Reductions in energy also affect CO2 emissions, shown in Table 1, because power plants that create electrical energy release large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The year before the retrofits, Rookery Books had an average monthly electrical bill of $107.42. The years following the retrofits the store had an average bill of $87.70 per month as shown in Figure 3. The stores savings averaged $19.64 per month throughout the entire year after the retrofits. Energy data from before and after the retrofits is modeled in Figure 3. The annual savings was $235.72 and energy usage was reduced by 1,555 kWh per year. Table 2 compares the RCEA predictions of annual savings for Rookery Books with the measured predictions. The RCEA predicted a $358.11 savings by reducing 2,142 kWh per year, and estimated that the initial investment would take 2.8 years to payback. Using the average reduction found in the monthly billing statements it should take 4.2 years for Rookery Books to payback their initial investment.

Table 2: Predicted values given by RCEA and the average measured values of the energy saved, money saved, CO2 reduction, and simple payback are all compared [4].

RCEA Predicted Values
Measured Values
Energy Saved (kWh/year)
2,142
1,555
Money Saved (dollars/month)
29.84
19.64
CO2 Reduction (pounds/year)
1,113
822
Time Period Until Reimbursement (years)
2.8
4.2



Figure 3: Comparison of Rookery Books' electricity bills before and after the retrofit. The year prior to the energy retrofit is represented by the blue line, the year directly after the retrofit is represented by the red line, and the second year after retrofit is shown with a green line.

Customer Satisfaction
[edit]

The business owner, Tom Clapp, called the retrofits a "sound business decision." Rookery Books would not have had the retrofitting done without help from RCEA. Clapp commented that using less energy has a positive impact on the health of the environment. Clapp called his RCEA representatives "very professional," and said that the representatives worked hard and accomplished the retrofit efficiently. He made special mention that the installation of the fixtures went smoothly and coincided with the business hours of Rookery Books.

References[edit]

  1. Redwood Coast Energy Authority. (2005). About RCEA.Retrieved on November 5, 2009 from http://www.redwoodenergy.org/ContentPage.asp?ContentID=92
  2. Merriam Webster Dictionary.(2005). Retrofit.Retrieved on November 5, 2009 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrofit
  3. Redwood Coast Energy Authority. (2005). About RCEA.Retrieved on November 5, 2009 from http://www.redwoodenergy.org/ContentPage.asp?ContentID=92
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mike Kowalski.2009.Customer Report: Rookery Books. Redwood Coast Energy Authority. Oct.1,2009.