Going Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Going Green for St. Patrick’s Day

W.B. Yeats wrote, “There are no strangers here; only friends that haven’t yet met.” Travis Stanley Jones seemed to be channeling Yeats when he bought Mulleady’s Irish Pub in 2005. Nestled in the Magnolia neighborhood, Mulleady’s features a convivial atmosphere unique to Irish pubs, authentic grub, pints, and spirits, and a stacked stone fireplace voted among Seattle’s best.

Jones began his career in the United States Marine Corps, and then worked at several Seattle restaurants before his entrepreneurial spirit kicked into high gear. “I’m an okay employer, but I’m a terrible employee,” he jokes. “That’s why I bought Mulleady’s eight years ago.”

While Jones has managed to stay mostly in the black throughout the economic downturn, the performance of his equipment looms large in his mind. “If your car breaks down, that’s going to be a big deal for you, right?” Jones asks. “Well, I essentially have five ‘cars’ in my kitchen: the refrigerators, ovens, dishwasher, and fryer. If any of those break down, I’m in the red.”

When he heard about Community Power Works, Jones says the program seemed “almost too good to be true.” After an energy assessment revealed how much energy he could save, Jones decided to begin upgrades after the pub’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Certified contractor Batt + Lear will replace two refrigerators with models that use ultra-high efficiency fans and chlorofluorocarbon-free refrigerant (chlorofluorocarbons contribute significantly to ozone depletion and climate change). The double convection oven and fryer will also be replaced with ENERGY STAR ™ models, and the pub’s lighting will be upgraded from old incandescent bulbs to LEDs.

The total project costs ring up at roughly $28,000, but a combination of utility and Community Power Works rebates will cover 60 percent. Jones will finance the remaining $11,000 through a low interest loan from local lender Craft3.

Jones sees these upgrades as the first step in Mulleady’s longer term environmental strategy. The upgrades are projected to reduce the pub’s annual energy consumption by 50,000 kWh and its energy bills by $3,000 each year. Jones also plans to capitalize on the pub’s prime location by enticing patrons to come on foot and by bike. Next up, he hopes to install solar panels.

If you find yourself looking for friends you haven’t yet met this weekend, head on over for St. Patrick’s Day at Mulleady’s – a local pub going shamrock green for the holiday and for the planet.

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Community Power Works is a Seattle neighborhood-based building retrofit program that will achieve deep energy savings and create green jobs.