|Power Options: Renewable energy in collision repair|
|News - Collision Repair|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 14:51|
By Lucy Mazzucco
Toronto, Ontario -- June 21, 2012 -- Energy prices are rising, and they’re not likely to fall in the near future. Might it be time to reexamine renewable energy options in the collision repair environment?
Electricity is a year round expense, although it tends to fluctuate with the seasons. There are a number of options available for those who want to get off the grid, including solar panels, wind turbines and even geothermal energy. They generally have a high upfront cost, but the investment can pay itself back by reducing or even eliminating energy bills.
Reid Daruda, owner of Cactus Collision & Paint Inc. in Kamloops, British Columbia agreed that cutting energy costs would be beneficial to the industry. “Yes, definitely,” said Daruda. “To me it seems like an obvious question.”
Dana Alexander of Dana’s Collision Center in Fredericton, New Brunswick, also agreed that holding down energy costs would be beneficial to the collision repair industry. He has recently decided to install heat pumps at his shop to help hold down energy costs.
“It would be a fantastic option since natural gas is the most expensive,” says Dana Alexander, owner of Dana’s Collision Center, which is currently undergoing renovations in which they will input heat pumps. “Heat pumps are cleaner and much better for the environment. They distribute both heat and air conditioning from the same unit making it cost-effective. They’re great for New Brunswick since their energy is produced from hydroelectric.”
Alexander chose heat pumps over solar panels because they were simply a better fit.
“Solar is an option, but it’s somewhat not cost effective,” says Alexander. “It’s good for a small area, but not for an entire shop.”
It’s possible to make solar power more cost effective for both home and business by allowing users to sell back to the grid. In Canada, when it comes to solar power, you generally have to be on the grid anyway, just to make sure you’ve got power when the solar units can’t handle the load. However, there are times when your solar panels are generating more power than you can use. This excess energy could be pumped back into the grid, meaning less has to be generated by the utility, and netting you some cold, hard cash. This system has worked quite well in California for a number of years now. Why haven’t more provincial governments stepped up and offered the same sort of deal?