Ryan Chapman, president of Premier Parking, made the decision to invest in the lighting quality of his garage once Trammell Bell presented a solution he could budget for and feel confident in the results of. Knowing something needed to be done, as the quality and “significant energy costs of the old lighting system” were not up to Chapman’s standards for his customers and business, it was simply a matter of finding a project solution that fit with his business’ needs to pull the trigger. With lighting being such a big part of a garage’s overall appeal, safety, and expenses, the upgrade has significantly improved the quality of the parking experience at the McKendree garage. And with Premier Parking’s return on investment coming in at 1.3 years, this became a very affordable improvement for the business. The Tennessee Valley Authority also helped to make this project so financially viable, with 70% of the cost of the project coming from their Energy Right Solutions program.

Technology and efficiency improvements are an important part of Premier Parking’s continuing business development goals. With over 25,000 parking spaces being owned, leased and managed by Premier Parking, it will inevitably be a long term goal to update all the sites to match the standards now in place at the McKendree garage. Now, with the savings coming in from this latest project, it opens up opportunities for Chapman to look at future projects for his other locations. “We are evaluating lighting at several Premier Parking Garages. We are also working with members of the Green Parking Council to move Premier towards other parking and transportation related sustainable practices,” says Chapman. This one project was a big step towards that sustainable goal. The McKendree garage is now saving 391,559 lbs of Carbon Dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of planting 48 acres of trees, or saving 23,731 gallons of gasoline each year.

With such significant savings, quick returns on investments, and substantial TVA funding, there has never been a better time to make the move to implementing energy efficiency projects. As Chapman works to upgrade his parking facilities across the region, he notes, for other business owners that might not be sure what the best decision is, “if you have a project that has a strong ROI, other non-monetary benefits, and is good for the environment, go for it!” This message seems to be resonating with more and more business owners, and Trammell Bell, TVA, and other regional utility companies are all standing by to make this simple solution a reality.

By Alexandra Phillips, Contributor for The Green Register