A Tale of Two RadioShacks

J & L Electronics in Beatrice and York Electronics, both RadioShack franchises, became Rebuild partners for similar, yet different reasons.

Fine Tuning Planned Work

The York store had already planned on making renovations to the building and wanted the Energy Office to make recommendations in light of those planned changes and to concentrate the review on the windows, heating and cooling systems and lights.

Overall, the Energy Office found energy use in the business to be considerably below the norm for a retail store.

The recommendations to the York store owner suggested adding R-11 insulation to some walls, moving a door to reduce heat gain and loss, replacing the store's front windows with new ones with a minimum level R-2, and several modifications to the remodeling projects. For example, a minor change in the ductwork for the new heating and cooling system would allow better air circulation. Secondly, substituting a different type of lighting in new fluorescent light fixtures would improve lighting quality.

The J & L store in Beatrice was needing a more complete analysis of possible improvements. The Beatrice store was also housed in an older commercial building that was considerably larger than its counterpart in York. As expected, the Beatrice store's energy expenses were higher than those in York. The owner also had several plans for using existing space differently.

What's Good, What's Bad

After a Rebuild assessment of the Beatrice store, the Energy Office recommended the owner consider several improvements as part of Beatrice's Main Street effort and integrated the recommendations into the store owner's plans.

For example, if the owner proceeded with plans for a business on the second floor, insulation could be added to the walls as a part of the planned remodeling.

The best bet for saving energy came from replacing fluorescent bulbs and electric ballasts in the store's lights with more efficient types. This simple recommendation could save nearly $60 a year. The overall cost of this recommendation was about $460.

The report also examined the store's heating and cooling systems. While replacing both systems with more efficient types was considered, the Energy Office examined the estimated costs and expected savings, concluding that the cost of the new furnace would be paid for in less than 15 years, but the cost of a new cooling system would need nearly 40 years to recover that investment.