News & Press


Saving energy gains steam

12/01/2009
GREENFIELD, MA – The Greenfield Business Association (GBA) and The Sandri Companies have joined the Greenfield 10% Challenge to help the Town meet the goal of reducing its energy use by 10% by the end of 2010. The 10% Challenge was launched last April by the Greening Greenfield campaign. "Reducing energy use is good for business and for the environment" said Becky George, coordinator of the GBA "We are proud to take the challenge. We are urging our members to join the 10% Challenge and reduce their energy use, and promote the Challenge to their employees and customers."

The Sandri Companies, a GBA member, has taken the challenge in a big way. As a local energy provider they have long held the belief that offering products that increase efficiency—and reduce the amount of energy it takes for people to heat their home—is the right thing to do. Taking the 10% Challenge for their own business and promoting the concept to their customer base is a natural extension of what they already try to get their home heating customers to recognize.

"We explain that reducing the amount of energy you use is the best way to cut your heating bills and reduce your environmental impact," says Skip Dunnell, heating service manager of Sandri’s Home Comfort division. "We encourage an annual tune-up for your heating system to keep it running at peak efficiency, and replacement of outdated equipment with one of our many energy-star rated units when the time comes."

In line with signing on to the 10% Challenge, Sandri had an energy audit performed on their facility on Chapman Street. They have cut their energy use there by installing insulation, replacing an old roof, upgrading their lights to compact fluorescents (CFL) on timers, and consolidating numerous pieces of office equipment into a few multi-function machines. They estimate that these conservation measures will reduce their energy use by over 10% and have already begun to see a reduction in their electricity bills. "We recognize that energy efficiency is one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to reduce our environmental impact," said Tim Van Epps, president of The Sandri Companies. "We also see the opportunities and logic of utilizing renewable energy where it makes sense. We are incorporating this technology into our own buildings and we’ve also begun to offer renewables to our customers."

Sandri plans to replace their current heating system with an ultra-low emissions wood pellet-fired boiler, which their service department now installs for both residential and commercial applications. They also recently retrofitted the truck-wash that they use on a daily basis to maintain their fleet of 60 transport vehicles."We replaced an oil boiler with an ultra low emissions wood pellet boiler from Maine Energy Systems and a 3 panel solar thermal system to preheat the water," explains Mr. Dunnell. "Our goal was to reduce our own carbon footprint while also demonstrating that renewable energy technology can be used for a variety of applications, and that Sandri has the expertise to install and service solar hot water systems and pellet boilers."

"While helping our customers use less oil may seem counterintuitive to our interests," says Mr. Van Epps, "we feel it’s smart business." Sandri’s service department has always embraced industry innovations in equipment efficiency and according to Van Epps renewables are logical addition to their business. "We’re working to reduce our carbon footprint at Sandri and we want to help others do the same."

Sandri is also looking forward to helping train the "green workforce" of the future by offering internships to Greenfield Community College and the Franklin County Technical School students interested in energy efficiency and green energy career options.

The Greenfield Business Association (GBA) is a collaborative, community-minded membership organization. The GBA aims to develop, maintain, and promote the economic, environmental, and cultural assets of our classic New England Town, by serving the diverse and evolving business community, and improving the marketability of Greenfield to area residents and new businesses. In the last three years membership has tripled to 125 members.

"We are thrilled that the Greenfield Business Association has signed on to the Greenfield 10% Challenge," said Becca King, co-creator of the Challenge and co-chair of the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee. "Sandri coming on board is an example of a GBA member that is not only taking the challenge for itself, but promoting the concept to its employees and customers."

 




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