Dollars and Sense: False Creek Collision retrofits for energy efficiency

Bernhard Rubbert, owner of False Creek Collision, outside of his shop in Burnaby. The facility has recently completed an energy efficiency retrofit that promises to both reduce costs and diminish the shop's carbon footprint.

Burnaby, British Columbia — March 28, 2017 — Bernhard Rubbert, owner of BC’s False Creek Collision, says making the decision to move forward with an energy efficiency retrofit was a “no brainer.” The team at False Creek Collision are always looking for new technology and lean business ideas to improve performance and reduce the shop’s carbon footprint.

Rubbert and his team have long been on the forefront when it comes to environmental efficiency. The facility was profiled on the cover of Collision Repair magazine in 2006 for its early adoption of waterborne paint. False Creek Collision also won an environmental award in Business Stewardship from the City of Burnaby. The award was primarily in recognition of the facility’s outstanding efforts to invest in new technologies that reduce electricity consumption and the company’s carbon footprint.

“Eventually, we intend to become the greenest autobody shop in the whole of Canada, and to encourage other businesses worldwide to adopt more eco-friendly alternatives,” said Rubbert at the time. The latest environmental project undertaken by False Creek Collision shows the shop is still on this road.

Rubbert says the energy efficiency project he completed with Vancouver-based energy management company, Kambo, basically took care of the “low hanging fruit.”

“The technology is there and it’s reasonable in price,” he says. “It’s an easy way to lower costs and make a difference.”

Overall, the energy efficiency project had a positive impact on False Creek Collision’s cash flow, reduced the shop’s energy consumption and lowered energy bills. In total, the shop expects to save $3,820 annually. The project is expected to pay for itself in less than two-and-a-half years.

“Plus, it’s a brighter light so you get a better product for a lower price,” says Rubbert. “So why wouldn’t you do it?”

Kambo’s energy efficiency project
– Changed lights throughout the facility from T8s to LED tubes
– Replaced incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs
– Installed new awning and outdoor lights to increase light levels, improving site safety and security
– Installed a low-flow water aerator in the bathroom to conserve water and energy
– Installed a programmable thermostat to improve occupant comfort and reduce energy

Rubbert describes his rationale for financing. Smaller businesses don’t have a lot of extra money and therefore need to look closely at their financial situation. But if you are willing to work with a financial lender, then you can use the project savings to finance the loan. That way you can enjoy lower energy consumption, better products and better light levels.

The projected savings from the Kambo project will cover monthly payments on the green business loan Rubbert secured from Vancity (a member-owned financial co-operative headquartered in Vancouver), meaning the project has no negative impact on his business cash flow.

The energy-efficiency project at False Creek Collision goes beyond lighting. Faucet aerators conserve water while maintaining water pressure and can also prevent splashing. The aerator now installed on the bathroom faucet at False Creek Collision is projected to save up to 41 litres of water per day. This not only saves water, but also saves electricity that is needed to heat the water. In addition, an aging compressor was replaced with a new compressor that uses around one-third less energy.

Rubbert is already investigating his next project. He is looking to switch to electric courtesy vehicles and is also weighing up installing solar panels on his roof.

For more information, please visit falsecreekcollision.com.


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