SNEW Success at the Blue Goose
For the Sierra Nevada Energy Watch team, it's not a job well done until all the energy efficiency upgrades have been installed and the customer is happy. Karen Ritland and I, both Project Assistants and Climate Corps Fellows, went out to the Blue Goose Event Center in Loomis this month to make sure that was the case.
The Blue Goose is part of SNEW's light swap campaign, changing out old incandescent, CFL, or fluorescent light bulbs for new lower-wattage and LED models. With the Blue Goose, SNEW changed out old fluorescent lights with newer, brighter, lower-wattage models and old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs that are four times as efficient. The upgrades will save Blue Goose an estimated $272 a year. Pat Brechte, head coordinator at the Blue Goose and President of the Loomis Chamber of Commerce, was particularly excited about the upgrades and plans on switching out even more lights by the start of next year.
"I am excited to see more businesses get involved with this. I am hoping to see a good return on investment, and what I’ve noticed at some of the events we’ve held recently is that people appreciate the new lights. Better quality light at a lower wattage is a win-win,” Pat told Karen.
It was exciting to see energy upgrades happening in such a historic building. The Blue Goose was used for fruit sorting, packing, and storage for the fruit farms in Placer County for over three decades. In 2001, the building was turned over to the South Placer Heritage Foundation, where it has since been renovated. Today the building includes the Blue Goose Event Center, Blue Goose Produce, The Loomis News, and Sarah Whitcomb Antiques. Every year, the Blue Goose hosts a community Christmas fundraiser for hungry families, and this year, they were pleased to show off their new lights. The center was full of community members celebrating the holidays with friends and family while helping out a charitable cause. Together, the community raised over $8,000 - enough to feed 400 houses of four through the winter months.
Karen and I had the pleasure of attending the Christmas fundraiser, and while there we showed off some new models of LEDs that provide more light for the same amount of electricity. We will be continuing to work on the light swap campaign throughout the next year, visiting small businesses within the Sierra foothills to help them save money on their electricity bills. If you are a small business interested in swapping out your lights, make sure to let us know!
With 2013 coming to a close, SNEW is looking forward to a new year of helping small businesses throughout the Sierra Nevada lower their energy use and save money. Here's to a great new year!