Becoming more energy efficient

ALBERT LEA, Minn. — When you look at your monthly energy bill you are probably wondering how you can get that number to go down. Now Alliant Energy is going around to help you find out.

Some area small businesses are taking part in energy assessments to find out how to save the company some dough.

The bitterly cold winter had been causing some high energy bills for many and one area business wants to know if they are as energy efficient as they can be.

“It’s been 15 years since we built the building so we figured it was time to have a review done again,” said Tim Reisnour, Vice President at Zenk Read Trygstad and Associates in Albert Lea.

With their background in architecture and engineering, this company worked hard to make sure they built an office with energy conservation in mind.

“As far as clear story glazing and taking advantage of the natural lighting, we have tome walls for heat sinks within the core area,” Reisnour said.

“We really are seeing a building here that’s already very energy efficient,” said Joel Zook.

Zook is with CLEAResult and travels from small business to small business doing energy assessments.

He said 95 percent of the places he stops have opportunities for savings.

“All of the assessments take a look at the general efficiency practices and making sure that everything’s up to specs and making recommendations where there’s room for improvement,” Zook said.

One of the most common improvements he suggests is better insulation.

“It’s something that’s very cost effective. With the rebates covering up to 70 percent of the cost, it’s something that the business owner can see immediate improvement on their heating bills and their cooling bills as well,” Zook said.

He said lighting is another important factor.

“These guys have newer T8 lights which are actually already quite efficient,” Zook said, “A lot of these measures are going to pay for themselves in a number of years so it’s a very smart business move to make.”

Some of those things are simple.

“This faucet uses two gallons of water a minute, I’m going to put in a half-gallon a minute aerator,” Zook said.

Reisnour is glad that their hard work is paying off.

“We felt that when we built it that we were on the leading edge, everything was done with that in mind,” Reisnour said.

Along with their free small business assessments, Alliant Energy offers free residential assessments. For more information on these assessments and how you or your business can take part, visit their website.

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