Eat Local business owner Greg Conner will tell you that he is, “all about sustainability.” He is not making an overstatement. With a legacy of over 90 years of Washington family-farming behind him, sustainable activities are so ingrained in Conner that even the fixtures in his stores have been salvaged. Shelving in his new Capitol Hill store made its debut in the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, and the wood for the sign behind the cash register is made of former fruit tree branch supports from farms in Eastern Washington.
And, of course, all of the goods in his shop are sourced locally. Since 2006, frozen entrees, soups, side dishes, and desserts that he sells have all been made from scratch in his kitchens with ingredients from local farmers. However, keeping these offerings ready for sale in his Queen Anne store required the use of six freezers that were not all about sustainability with each contributing significantly to Eat Local’s energy consumption every year. Although this squandering or resources troubled Conner, new equipment seemed out of reach. “We researched more efficient freezers, but they were prohibitively expensive,” said Conner.
When Conner heard about Community Power Works for Small Business through an email from Seattle Good Business Network, he jumped on the chance to have help bringing in new equipment that falls in line with his value of sustainability. “The energy savings and incentives available to small businesses through Community Power Works are really important. Often small businesses don’t qualify for this kind of program,” said Conner.
With CPW incentives reaching over $8,100, he was able to offset project costs by 44%. And by taking the singular step of replacing his old freezer units with new highly efficient freezers, he is estimated to save 24% on his energy bills in the first year alone. Conner loved the freezers so much that he installed 19 units in his new, larger store which opened in June on Capitol Hill. Congratulations, Greg!