Energy efficiency awards for two Santa Rosa businesses
Two local businesses – Easy Breezy Car Wash in Santa Rosa, and Oliver’s Market in Santa Rosa - have won awards for energy efficiency innovations and savings in a statewide challenge.
The California Green Business Network in partnership with Energy Upgrade California sponsored the challenge to recognize Certified Green businesses for their efficiency and sustainability efforts, awarding each winner $500. Applicants were required to submit stories about their energy-efficiency journeys. More than 40 applications were submitted from across the state, and these two local businesses were the only winners.
“It’s great to see Sonoma County businesses recognized for their environmental efforts at the State level,” said Energy and Sustainability Division Manager, Jane Elias. “Certifying their businesses shows their commitment to addressing energy, water, waste, and pollution prevention elements holistically.”
Easy Breezy Car Wash received the award for “Most Innovative.” Instead of tearing down the 50-year old building on-site, the owners of the Santa Rosa business transformed it into a state-of-the-art car wash tunnel. They incorporated permeable concrete and native drought-tolerant landscaping. They also installed motion-sensor lighting and variable frequency drives for their electrical motors, and they reuse waste heat to help dry cars. Easy Breezy achieved its Green Business Certification in January 2021.
Meanwhile, Oliver’s Market received the award for “Most Savings.” In 2018, Oliver’s made an impactful change at its corporate offices by installing a 60-kilowatt 169-panel solar system. In the following years, the company retrofitted all lighting at three of its locations to LEDs. The solar system at Oliver’s corporate offices is offsetting approximately 86,921 kilowatts of electricity annually, or enough to power eight homes each year. Its LED lighting retrofits are saving a total of 256,875 kWh annually companywide. Oliver’s achieved its Green Business Certification in February 2016.
“Addressing Climate Change effectively is a community effort,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Lynda Hopkins. “I am proud of the decision by these two organizations to operate more consciously, and I applaud their well-deserved recognition.”
Sonoma County Green Business Certification is a part of the California Green Business Network, whose mission is to assist businesses to operate sustainably as well as profitably. The County’s General Services Department, Energy and Sustainability Division administers the County’s certification program, which aids businesses that choose to go through the process of becoming “Green.” To be certified, participants must follow all environmental regulations and meet program standards for saving water, conserving energy, preventing pollution, minimizing waste, and implementing best practices. The division offers this as a no-cost certification and businesses must recertify every four years. To learn more about certification, visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/General-Services/Energy-and-Sustainability/Green-Business-Certification/