Figure 1: Vellutini Baking Company (Photo by Taylor Edwards)
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Authors Taylor Edwards
Julia Allshouse
Location California, USA
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This page contains an analysis of the Redwood Coast Energy Authority's (RCEA) lighting retrofit of the Vellutini Baking Company (Figure 1). The purpose of the analysis is to determine the effectiveness of the retrofit by calculating the energy saved, carbon dioxide reduction, money saved, and payback time of the retrofit.[1] To learn more about the project visit: RCEA energy audit reviews.

The RCEA[edit | edit source]

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority is an organization based out of Eureka, California with a mission statement as reads: "The Redwood Coast Energy Authority's (RCEA) purpose is to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean, efficient and renewable resources available in the region".[2] The RCEA uses grants from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) to operate.

Figure 2: One of the four foot long fluorescent bulbs (Photo by Taylor Edwards)

The Vellutini Baking Company[edit | edit source]

With their mission statement in mind, the RCEA worked with the Vellutini Baking Company to increase bakery's energy efficiency. To achieve this the RCEA helped to replace the bakery's incandescent bulbs with more efficient florescent bulbs in July of 2008.

Interview with the Owner[edit | edit source]

Business: Small business, bakery

  • Location: Eureka, California
  • Address: 502 Henderson Street
  • The total installed cost was $1,108.38
  • The cost came to $808.81 after an instant rebate was applied

The owner of the bakery decided to go ahead with the retrofit because of the fluorescent bulbs, "are a better product and are better environmentally".[3] Mr. Vellutini (Figure 3) informed us that the the retrofit included replacing incandescent bulbs with 15 fluorescent bulbs. There were 14, four-foot bulbs installed inside the bakery (Figure 2) and one large compact fluorescent installed outside.[4] He said that he wouldn't have gotten the upgrade without the RCEA and that he would do more retrofits, "if something broke and the replacements were more efficient." Mr. Vellutini stated that the bakery's energy usage habits did not change at all after the retrofit and that he was pleased with RCEA's work.

Analysis of RCEA's Estimations[edit | edit source]

Table 1: RCEA Estimations vs Actual Calculations
Average RCEA Estimation Actual Calculations
Money saved (yr) $528.12 -$46.77
Money saved (month) $44.01 -$3.80
Simple Payback Time (years) 1.5 none
Power saved (kwh/yr) 4,065 -360
;CO2 Emmissions Reduction (lbs/yr) ; 2,113
  • 15.72

CO2: 0.524 pounds of carbon dioxide are produced for every kilowatt hour. The Vellutini Baking Company indirectly produces carbon dioxide. Coal fired power plants burn coal in order to produce electricity for the town of Eureka and the burning of coal produces carbon dioxide.

Data Used:

  • The RCEA used an average cost of $0.12992 per kWh (kilowatt per hour) and the tax rate is 0.03.
  • The average power use (kWh/month) from before and after the retrofit was completed

before: 6,960 after: 6,990

Notice: The average energy use before and after the retrofit was calculated by:

Calculating the average kWh usage for each month of the year before and after the retrofit (Figure 5) Taking the averages for each month, and averaging them as whole to find the overall monthly average kWH usage (shown above)

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Calculations indicate that the RCEA's predictions were wrong. The data indicates reverse outcomes when compared to the RCEA's predictions as seen in Table 1. It is shown that the Vellutini Baking Company lost $3.80 per month and $46.77 per year. Also, the company lost 360 kilowatt hours per year instead of saving the predicted 4,065 kilowatt hours per year. The results were found using averages of kWh usage per month. Furthermore, the carbon dioxide emissions increased by 15.72 pounds per year opposed to being reduced by 2,113 pounds per year.

The main concern is why the energy usage increased after the retrofit was completed. Either there has been more energy used per month after the retrofit or the weather has played a roll in higher usages. The owner of the bakery, Vince Vellutini, stated that the energy usage habits remained the same before and after the retrofit. That being said, one may conclude that varying weather patterns have played a roll. Hotter or colder weather must have increased the amount of energy being used on heating or cooling.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1 Category: rcea energy audit reviews. (2009, December 22). Retrieved from
  2. 1 Redwood coast energy authority. (2005). Retrieved from
  3. 3 V. Vellutini (personal communication, October 20, 2009)
  4. 4 V. Vellutini (personal communication, December 7, 2009)
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