Like so many local small-business owners, Nadine Lefkowitz is trying new ideas amid a slowly growing economy. One of those strategies paid off in unexpected ways.
Last spring, Lefkowitz won a Save More, Matter More™ $3,000 energy efficiency upgrade for her store, Topanien Global Gifts, from PGE and Energy Trust of Oregon.
“Costs were up and sales were down,” Lefkowitz remembers. “I was looking at every little line item. We got an efficiency consultation to see if we could save. I didn’t even know I’d entered a contest.”
PGE Energy Expert Garrett Harris recommended she upgrade from inefficient T12 lighting to high-efficiency T8 bulbs and fixtures. Lefkowitz was thrilled with the results, including noticeably lower bills and “brighter, happier-feeling” lighting.
“Heating is the next thing to look at,” she says. With air conditioners in the front and back of the store, and a ceiling fan to circulate heat, she knows more can be done to increase her energy savings.
Environmentalism runs deep
PGE didn’t have to convince Lefkowitz to find ways to conserve power and help the planet. She and her family go green at home in Southern Oregon, too.
“Aside from the standard stuff like recycling and watching waste on all fronts, we have a hybrid vehicle,” she explains, “and we built an eco-friendly straw bale house in Jacksonville.”
Energy efficiency has always been part of the plan at home and at work. Improving the lighting in her Multnomah Village store was simply another way for her to help slow global warming and improve her bottom line.
Already, Lefkowitz is seeing energy savings of up to $700 per year. “It gets you excited,” she says, “so you want to keep doing more.”