Money Does Grow on Trees

End Users Consider the Alternatives

While many customers are leery to jump on the “green” bandwagon, those that have made the transition have seen significant cost savings.

Lakeland Community College in Ohio quickly achieved a greener, more sustainable future with the help of a comprehensive energy and resource efficiency project delivered by SBT. According to the integrator, the campuswide effort is among the first of its kind in the region.

Once the campus’ building and facility improvements are completed, the college anticipates a 38-percent reduction of its carbon footprint and a savings of $500,000 in energy costs.

Manufacturers that are tackling green initiatives are providing integrators with an alternative solution to present to customers looking to reduce costs.

IQinVision of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is one manufacturer that is making strides to limit energy waste and carbon emissions by reducing the power consumption of its IQeye cameras.

“There have been a number of instances when end users and integrators ask about our green practices, but frankly not enough,” says IQinVision Chief Marketing Officer Paul Bodell. “In order to make green initiatives successful everyone has to contribute. These initiatives will not be successful because someone makes you do it; you have to want to do it.”

According to Darren Mulholland, president of Today’s Audio Video Inc. in Mooresville, N.C., the green movement is one he expects to see more of in the coming years.

“We have seen a small increase in interest in conserving energy with our lighting and HVAC systems controlled by touch screens and the Internet,” says Mulholland. “Our vendors are adapting and the customers are reading about it. So we as a custom integrator need to know how to plan for this.”

The potential to turn end users on to green products is there, especially when cost savings are brought into the picture; however, customers need to be readily informed of the possibilities.

Building a Greener Future

In an effort to cut costs and provide better service to its customers, EMERgency24 made plans to develop and move to a new energy-efficient central station. The move would uproot the company’s Chicago base and break ground in Des Plaines, Ill.

While the company has begun to move people into its new cutting-edge central station, the transition isn’t expected to be completed until later this year.

“The first step was to design the central station to satisfy our business needs and code requirements while minimizing our environmental impact,” says Baird Larson, EMERgency24 director of technical operations. “That was a stated goal of ours – to be the most efficient central station.”

The company elected to incorporate sustainable products and materials from local vendors in an effort to cut its carbon emissions through reduced shipping. EMERgency24 also chose to reuse existing furnishings where it was feasible and for the remaining space, a conscious effort was made to purchase furniture that was refurbished or made of recycled materials.

“To conserve energy immediately, EMERgency24 installed efficient lighting fixtures that have resulted in $4,422 savings in just a year,” says Larson. “The payback on that project, which includes utility rebates, is only 21 months to recoup the cost, but our energy use will continue to be low for many years beyond the breakeven point. Efficient lighting is a very good investment.”

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