Our Net-Zero Energy Initiative
Here at Brinkmann’s Hardware, we believe that the community is more than just where our customers live. It’s something we’re all a part of, and as a member of the community, we’re as committed to protecting the environment as we are at providing excellent customer service and competitive prices. To that end, we have dedicated ourselves to erasing our carbon footprint and becoming a completely net-zero energy company by the year 2025. Two of our locations are already net-zero energy and with the overproduction of these two locations, we believe we are well on our way to making ours a net zero energy corporation.
What Does It Mean to Be Net-Zero?
A net-zero energy building produces more energy than it consumes through a combination of passive energy-saving methods, energy-efficient equipment and fixtures, and solar energy cells. Our net-zero energy retail buildings use such innovative features as a highly insulated exterior, forming a tightly sealed envelope and preventing heat loss or gain from the outside. Additionally, the roofs have been replaced with a thermoplastic “cool roof” that reflects solar rays and further reduces heat gain.
Our Miller Place store has a rooftop solar array, a bank of 304 photovoltaic cells that generates power for the building during the day. This is a crucial part of the whole system and is the primary means by which it generates more energy than it uses.
LED Lighting Inside & Out
Also, all the lighting on the interior and exterior of the building is achieved with highly efficient LED lights. Heating and cooling is accomplished with geothermal energy, meaning that the stores use no gas or oil to maintain their internal climate. Geothermal heating/cooling is an efficient, environmentally friendly system that uses underground water to transfer heat to and from the ground, cooling or heating the interior of the retail store as is appropriate for the climate and season.
Dedicated to Energy Conservation
Our first net-zero energy retail location in Miller Place has been a resounding success. The completion of it gave us the distinction of being the first net-zero energy retailer in the United States, and the resulting reduction of carbon emissions equals over 7 million pounds of carbon, which is the equivalent of planting over 40 acres of trees. The Miller Place store saves over 64,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year, at a savings of approximately $11,000 annually. The solar energy system produces over 125,000 kilowatt hours annually. This reduction is equivalent to removing 27 cars from the road, saving nearly 15,000 gallons of gasoline annually.
Where We Stand
Through our net-zero energy initiative, we seek to set the standard for conscientious business practices, as well as being a leader in the field. If we can convert our retail locations into carbon neutral or negative establishments, while still maintaining profitability and customer service, then our hope is that other businesses in the community will follow suit as well. The environment, after all, isn’t just what exists when you drive out of the city. It’s something we’re all a part of, and caring for it is a responsibility that falls on each of us.