Lights, Camera, and Energy Saving Action!
It is not easy for a special events production company to be ~100% solar powered; however, that is what ShowPro has done! ShowPro has a high energy demand because they test bright lights and sound systems. To reduce their energy needs and costs, they spent $71,000 on a complete solar panel system for their 20,000 square foot warehouse. The price of the solar system was originally $224,000, but they were able to receive $67,000 in federal tax credits and a significant rebate of $86,000 from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). To reflect more light onto the solar panels, they applied a highly reflective white roof sealant. They are now saving an average of $1,000 per month in electricity costs and will have paid for the system in less than six years.
ShowPro keeps an active blog where they post about show productions and their company. In 2014, they featured a blog post on their electric bill savings with the solar panels. With the bill image, they stated, “Believe it! Here is a copy of our last electric bill. 20,000 square foot warehouse with 15 full time employees testing big, bright lights and LED walls, keeping their lunches cool in two refrigerators and powering up two electric cars for $82 a month.”
They wanted clients and industry peers to understand the benefits of putting solar panels on a building and demonstrate that it really pays off.
ShowPro took a number of actions to make their facility more sustainable. They installed energy efficient windows and skylights and replaced all building and parking lot lamps with LED or high efficiency fluorescent bulbs. ShowPro bought an electric car charger, which is powered by the solar panels, and subsidizes employee use of electric vehicles. They also use fans instead of air conditioning to cool the shop. Lastly, they recycle everything from aluminum cans, steel pipe, and runoff water.
ShowPro has been in business for almost 20 years and demonstrates to industry professionals that it is possible to run an energy conserving business and still stay profitable. During their events, they aim to design lighting systems that mostly use LEDs and can run on existing power instead of a generator. On their e-mail signatures and website they post the phrase, “100% Solar Powered Shop | 100% Solar Powered Offices | 100% Solar Powered World.” They are known in their industry as “the green guys” because of their commitment to solar power, electric cars, energy efficiency, and LED lighting. Ultimately, they find being a green company attracts more business.
ShowPro provides sound, lighting, video, and projection services for small and large live industry events
- Electric car charger
- Energy efficient windows and skylights
- LED and high efficiency florescent bulbs in warehouse and parking lot
- Fans instead of air conditioning to cool facility
- LED and battery-operated event lighting features
Cost Savings and Actions:
- Solar panels provide ~100% of their energy usage
- Solar panels have saved an average of $1,000 per month in electricity costs
- Return on investment for solar panel system is less than six years
- Received $67,000 federal tax credit and $86,000 LADWP rebate for solar panel system
- Highly reflective white sealant on roof reflects more light onto the solar panels
- Maintaining building in top conditions avoids costly leaks or other repairs
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