Energy efficient equals smart savings

B’ville biz reduces footprint, educates community

Hudson & Mowins owners Greg and Cathy Hudson stand by the solar panels on the business’ rooftop.

Hudson & Mowins owners Greg and Cathy Hudson stand by the solar panels on the business’ rooftop.

While some snow enthusiasts have been left wondering where winter is, Baldwinsville business owners and avid snowmobilers Greg and Cathy Hudson are taking advantage of the sun.

In the last two years, the Hudson family has doubled the size of their business — Hudson & Mowins on East Genesee Street — with the purchase of NAPA AutoCare Center on the adjacent property and invested in solar panels in an effort to use energy more efficiently.

“One of the biggest reasons [for installing the panels] was we took a couple steps back and looked at how much electricity we were using,” Greg said, adding that if there was a way to cut back, they should.

Just by switching out lighting fixtures, some of which had been in the building since the business opened in 1958, Hudson & Mowins electric bill was reduced by approximately 20 percent each month.

After seeing the savings from installing energy efficient fixtures, the couple opted to research additional means of going green and focused on solar energy.

Now, with the seven panels in use, Greg said the business’ National Grid bill for October and November 2011 was 75 percent less than the same months in 2010.

Along with a reduction on the monthly bill, the Hudsons receive government incentives for going green. Greg said monetary reimbursements have come partially in direct funding as well as tax credits.

Despite budget cuts, government programs encouraging renewable energy remain steadfast and intact.

“I’ve talked to a few people in the know from the government [and] they have assured me that as important as it is to save money, it is no more important to find alternate energy sources,” he said. “I can’t believe a business would not take advantage of this.”

Even though the panels are practically out of sight from the ground, Hudson & Mowins’ use of green technology isn’t hidden from the community by any means. A 24-inch LCD monitor is set up in the waiting area where customers can see the amount of energy generated from the sun.

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