J. Ranck Electric Inc. to cut electricity bill by over 60%  through renewable energy and efficiency upgrades

Mar 26, 2014

Mt. Pleasant, Mich. — J. Ranck Electric Inc. (JRE), a leading electrical and communications contractor, is moving forward with another step of their energy savings master plan. After seeing positive results from past energy conservation projects, JRE is expanding their onsite renewable energy generation by developing a 147.6 kW ground mount solar array at their Mt. Pleasant location and a 9 kW rooftop solar array at their Flint location.

“Combining solar with lighting retrofits makes sense for us environmentally and financially,” Adam Ranck, Vice President of J. Ranck Electric said. “Although our company has grown, these energy conservation efforts have reduced our electricity consumption in spite of that growth. These projects are not something that we will be paying for; they will be paying us, because our renewable energy team has made them cash flow positive.”

JRE started with energy efficiency projects that had little upfront investment and quick payback; they upgraded lighting in their warehouses across the state and parking lot and equipment yard in Mt. Pleasant. Occupancy sensors were added throughout their warehouses and many of their offices as well. These energy efficiency upgrades resulted in a reduction in electricity consumption of greater than 20%.

Shortly after JRE formed their renewable energy division in 2010, they installed their first solar array at their southeast Michigan warehouse and added a Chevy Volt to their fleet. The 19.8 kW rooftop array, selected as part of the electric utility’s solar incentive program, has resulted in 24,800 kWh generated annually, a $2,976 savings. Two electric vehicle charging stations were installed at their Flint and Mt. Pleasant campuses to support the Volt and in the two years since it has been on the road, JRE has avoided burning 1,200 gallons of gasoline, which is roughly enough to drive from New York City to Los Angeles and back over 5 times.

This April, JRE will take its biggest energy savings step when construction begins on their two new solar arrays. When completed this summer, they will reduce JRE’s current electricity consumption by 71% and 15% at their Mt. Pleasant and Flint locations, respectively. JRE’s total energy savings are projected to reduce their annual utility bills by over $43,000, a 61% reduction from pre-retrofit levels. Of the combined energy savings, 67% will be attributed to the three solar installations and 33% to the energy efficiency upgrades.

“Many Michigan businesses think that solar is too expensive and not a viable energy option, but we are seeing that that is no longer true,” Brian Anderson, President of Middle Michigan Development Corporation said of the current business climate in the state. “Innovators like J. Ranck Electric are leading our state and region by developing affordable alternative energy options that result in economic and environmental benefits for our community.”