Bicycle Barn Success Story

Pictured from left are Bill Clemens, Pacific Power community manager and Greg Knowles, store owner.Pictured from left are Bill Clemens, Pacific Power community manager and Greg Knowles, store owner.

Bicycle Barn’s staff has more than 45 years of combined experience helping customers choose the perfect bike. However, the Walla Walla, Washington, store’s T12 fluorescent lighting also had logged at least that many years of service and was starting to make it harder for owner Greg Knowles to keep things rolling.

“We’re retail – our merchandise has to look decent,” said Knowles. “First we had ballasts going out and lamps going out, then I heard about changes coming for this older equipment, and I knew it was time to make a switch,” he said.

Manufacture of magnetic ballasts ceased in late 2010, and federal efficacy standards for linear fluorescent bulbs were raised in July 2012. Many types of T12s are no longer being manufactured as they do not meet the more stringent standards.

Better, efficient lighting

During a conversation with his electrician, Knowles heard that Pacific Power’s wattsmart® Business program could help with Bicycle Barn’s lighting improvements.

wattsmart Business offers cash incentives and technical assistance to upgrade lighting and other equipment that increases energy efficiency. Retrofit or new construction projects are eligible.

A program lighting coordinator performed a lighting analysis at the store, which estimated the energy and cost savings from improvements. Knowles decided to move ahead.

Bicycle Barn upgraded old T12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts to premium efficiency T8 fluorescents with electronic ballasts throughout the 10,000 square-foot building. The new T8s are highly efficient, plus offer improved light quality.

“We’ve received lots of compliments on how nice the lighting is,” said Knowles.

Savings and cash back

It also helps that Bicycle Barn’s lighting improvements are saving approximately 14,420 kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly. This usage reduction translates into $1,100 in annual energy cost savings. The retailer received a total of $2,640 in Pacific Power incentives to help offset the cost of the improvements.

After the success at Bicycle Barn, Knowles took advantage of Pacific Power’s program to upgrade lighting at another retail building he owns in Walla Walls – the home of Dusty’s Ski Barn.