Getting Green at Ptarmigan
Art galleries can be energy hogs. When we bought the gallery and became an artist-owned cooperative in June, 2013, our 98-plus lights that illuminate our amazing (no, really. Come see for yourself) work were all inefficient halogens or incandescents. Most of those burned more than 8 hours a day, some 24 hours a day, sucking 1430 kWh out of our local energy grid the month that we took over.
Dan The Man(ager), who does beautiful marquetry and makes those popular rock lamps–that, I swear, are sitting on someone’s table in every state–was elected by our membership to do…everything. In addition to his art, he ensures that our gallery runs smoothly, efficiently, and seamlessly, and once the dust had settled and our new business was up and running, he set about switching us over to energy efficient LEDs as the old bulbs burned out. Case after case of them arrived and Dan spent a goodly portion of his mornings climbing ladders and replacing bulbs. Within a year, we noticed a difference in our electric bill. Now, three years later, we’re definitely greener. Here are the details:
We have no incandescent lighting, but we do still run a few CFLs. Our highest usage was 1638 kWh for a total cost of $387.49 in December 2013. Two years later, the December 2015 bill was for 691 kWh at a cost of $177.56. That’s a whopping 58 percent drop in usage and a 54 percent decrease on our electric bill.
But wait, you say. Winters are cold in Alaska. (Well, that’s the perception anyway. Lately, not so much.) While we do use some electricity to run our fuel oil furnace, stereo, and cash register, the difference in usage between June and December 2013 is only 208 kWh, so we can safely estimate that 88 percent of our electric consumption is lighting. But we can compare June months, when the furnace runs less frequently. In June 2013 we used 1430 kWh at a cost of $296.61. In June 2016 we used 564 kWh at a cost of $149.39. We had a 50 percent decrease in our bill and used 60 percent less power.
So yeah, Ptarmigan is going green. We’re doing our part to lessen our footprint in all sorts of ways and we have some nice savings in our electric bill. You can’t beat that with a stick. And all Dan The Man(ager)’s ladder climbing and bulb ordering helped the planet and the gallery. We need to make him a cake.