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100 roof-mounted solar panels to produce 100% of electrical needs.
Williamsport, Md. (Apr. 20, 2017) - Wetsuit Wearhouse, the largest wetsuit specialty shop in the world, has completed the rooftop solar array at their headquarters in Williamsport, Maryland. With several years of planning and energy efficiency projects, the company has reached their goal of energy self-sufficiency.
"Being environmentally conscious has always been part of our mission," said Chris Moleskie, Founder, President & CEO of Wetsuit Wearhouse. "As a distribution center, all cardboard is reused or recycled, plastic hangers are bundled and taken by the tractor trailer load for recycling, and we even found a company that dismantles and recycles k-cups. Anything we can do to minimize the impact on landfills." He also said each employee has a recycling receptacle at their desk.
The solar array at Wetsuit Wearhouse was another stride in their environmentally-friendly workplace. After thinking about the big picture, studying their electrical consumption, and discussing tax incentives, Millennium 3 Energy of Hagerstown, Maryland was selected to install the panels. "I've always admired the forward thinking mentality of Chris and the Wetsuit Wearhouse team, always making energy efficiency a priority," said Phil Kelly, owner of Millennium 3 Energy. "The array we installed consists of 100 panels that produce approximately 36,095 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which will provide all their kilowatt hours." Mr. Kelly noted that a number of businesses in the area are enjoying the benefits of getting their power from the sun.
"Our solar project was made possible by generous tax incentives from the state and federal government," Mr. Moleskie explained. "We were one of three recipients in Washington County, Maryland to receive the USDA REAP Grant, with the help of our solar contractor, Millennium 3 Energy." The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants to agricultural operations and small businesses in rural areas for renewable energy projects. In 2015, the USDA allocated $63 million to alternative-energy projects, including solar, wind, and hydropower.
In addition to the solar array and their recycling program, Wetsuit Wearhouse has upgraded to motion-sensed LED lighting to reduce power consumption, which cut their electricity consumption by one-third, and replaced the HVAC boiler with high efficiency heat pumps.
Established in 2002 to provide a one-stop shop for all types of wetsuits, Wetsuit Wearhouse offers a selection of specialized suits for all sports including surfing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, kayaking, SCUBA Diving, triathlons, pool rehabilitation and more. Visit wetsuitwearhouse.com/green to learn more.
The mission of Millennium 3 Energy is to be the premier energy solutions advisory and installation company in the Cumberland Valley and surrounding areas with quality workmanship, fair pricing, and exceptional customer service. Learn more by visiting www.m3-energy.com.
Funding supports solar and other renewable energy projects
WASHINGTON, (Oct. 26, 2015) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the USDA is awarding loans and grants that will help more than 1,100 rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. The funding is for energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems. The USDA is financing projects in every state, as well as in the Virgin Islands, the Western Pacific, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Wetsuit Wearhouse is one of only 19 recipients in the state of Maryland to receive this funding. The grant is awarding $19,570 for a 20 kilowatt system that is expected to generate 100% of the company's electrical needs, for an estimated savings of over $3,000 per year.
"Wetsuit Wearhouse launched its go green initiative in 2012 starting with a company-wide recycling program. We recycle everything from cardboard boxes, to hangers, to printer cartridges, right down to the employees' lunch containers," said President and founder of Wetsuit Wearhouse, Chris Moleskie. "Last year we installed motion sense LED lights in our 20,000 square foot warehouse which has reduced energy usage by a whopping 30%. The REAP grant is another step toward complete energy independence."
"More rural business owners and ag producers are incorporating energy-saving measures into their business plans," Vilsack said. "These actions improve an operation's bottom line and help reduce its carbon footprint. This funding will help incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology and reduce energy costs. But beyond the local benefits seen by a company saving energy costs and the global benefits of reducing carbon emissions, this funding will also create American jobs by supporting energy production and efficiency installations that are made in rural America."
Making positive environmental changes is a high priority for the local business.
Williamsport, MD (Nov. 19, 2014) – Wetsuit Wearhouse, Inc. is taking its environmental efforts up a notch by increasing the already existing recycling and waste reduction initiatives.
Chris Moleskie, President & CEO of Wetsuit Wearhouse, plans to make certain that recyclable materials from the company don't end up in a landfill. "My goal is to do the right thing for the environment while minimizing waste and conserving energy," said Moleskie.
The company's green initiatives began eight years ago with a cardboard recycling program. Over the last two years, there have been major strides that include the recycling of thousands of plastic hangers, laser toner cartridges, Keurig-cups (K-Cups) and the majority of daily trash. The business also recently received an energy grant from the Maryland Energy Administration which is being used to upgrade the entire facility to energy efficient lighting. This upgrade will save about 20,000 kWh of electricity a year.
To ensure correct disposal of the Wearhouse's recyclable materials, the company utilizes the recycling program at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Washington County. Employees from the correctional facility come to Wetsuit Wearhouse and pick up large amounts of accumulated wood pallets, cardboard boxes, and plastic hangers.
Officer Rick Martin leads the recycling program at the correctional facility. "The recycling started about 15 years ago because the prison was generating so much paper and cardboard," said Officer Martin. "The recycling program has been up and running ever since. Good portions of the recyclables we receive still come from the prison but also from other organizations including Wetsuit Wearhouse."
"The plastic hangers from Wetsuit Wearhouse are taken to Chambersburg Waste and Paper where they are then recycled and are prevented from ending up in a landfill," Officer Martin said. "The cardboard is compressed by machines and packed in large bundles that will then be properly recycled."
Officer Martin also said that wood pallets, including those from Wetsuit Wearhouse, are turned into pellets for pellet stoves. He also mentioned that the proceeds from the recycling program stay in the prison system to pay salaries and help to keep the program active.
Why is Wetsuit Wearhouse so environmentally focused? "It shows commitment that we are stewards of the environment, good neighbors, and different from our competition," Moleskie said. "We could take the easy way out, but we choose to go above and beyond."
Employees at Wetsuit Wearhouse now have recyclables only trash cans at each workstation. This recent addition has amplified the company's dedication to its going green initiative. Plans to add a 19.8 kW rooftop solar array to the warehouse are also in the works. These solar panels should produce 100% of the company's electrical needs without reliance on the electric grid.
Specialty shop will upgrade its lighting with an energy grant funded by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA).
Williamsport, Md. (July 7, 2014) – Wetsuit Wearhouse Inc., based in Williamsport, Md., is pleased to announce that it is one of twenty-three recipients to receive an energy efficiency grant through the EmPOWER Maryland Commercial & Industrial Grant Program.
"I was surprised and honored to have been selected," said Chris Moleskie, President and CEO of Wetsuit Wearhouse, Inc. "Due to our facility residing in the Town of Williamsport, we were not otherwise eligible for any energy efficiency rebates/incentives. Without the Governor's grant through the Maryland Energy Administration, we would not have been able to afford the upgrades."
As the only grant recipient in Washington County, Wetsuit Wearhouse plans to start upgrading to energy efficient fixtures and bulbs this summer, and have it completed shortly after. This will ultimately allow the business to save around $2,000 in energy expenses per year and about 20,000 kWh of electricity.
This grant provides updated lighting throughout the building and assists the business with its current and future environmentally-friendly efforts. "We've already cut our consumption dramatically through insulating our building and replacing our old boiler heater with two energy saving heat pumps," said Moleskie. "Once our energy usage is dialed in, we'll be ready to proceed with our planned 19.8 kW rooftop solar array. With the addition of the efficient lights, we should be able to produce 100% of our energy needs."
The MEA energy efficiency grant will cover 40% of the lighting upgrade expenses for Wetsuit Wearhouse.
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