For Ruckel Properties, Inc., improving the bottom line at its Palm Plaza shopping center in Niceville was as easy as cutting down on energy consumption. These recent energy efficiency achievements earned Ruckel Properties the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) quarterly Triple E Award for Energy Efficiency Efforts.
“It’s no surprise that shopping centers use a lot of energy, incurring more energy-related costs than any other commercial sector in the United States,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “Those stats alone prompted Ruckel Properties to work with their local utility to decrease the center’s energy expenses, providing an overall cost savings and lowering individual tenants’ utility bills, too.”
Ruckel Properties reached out to Gulf Power Company and committed to installing reflective roofing on the entire plaza and converted to LED lighting in the center’s parking lot. The Palm Plaza asphalt roof was replaced with Everguard Energy Star Reflective Roofing—a total of 122,635 square feet. The reflective roofing is expected to save Ruckel Properties about 1.72 kWh per square foot, for a total annual energy savings of approximately 212,932 kWh. The company also replaced 24 metal halide parking lot lights with LED lighting. The lighting conversion resulted in a 43 percent decrease in kWh annually, for an annual savings of about $1,625.
“Palm Plaza has been a valuable partner to the Niceville/Valparaiso area for decades, and our goal was to streamline energy costs for our tenants, ultimately keeping costs down for our patrons,” said Dora Cawood, Rental Manager. “During the challenges of COVID-19, it’s been important to make Palm Plaza operate more efficiently, and one of the most substantial expenses to target was the energy bill. Through this pandemic, we’ve helped our current and prospective tenants by saving energy and reducing costs.”
“Operating more energy efficient is a win-win opportunity for property owners, retail managers, and their customers,” said Lee Bolton, Gulf Power Company Customer Advisor. “At Gulf Power, we work with customers like Ruckel Properties every day to provide tools, resources and expertise to strategically improve energy performance and conservation that will deliver long term savings to the business and their customers.”
Covering the state’s five major geographic areas, each quarter the PSC presents its Triple E Award to a local business that has accomplished superior energy efficiency. Look for past Triple E Award recipients under Hot Topics on the PSC’s homepage, www.FloridaPSC.com. The PSC encourages cost-effective conservation and renewable energy to reduce the use of fossil fuels and defer the need for new generating capacity through the Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.
About Ruckel Properties, Inc.
Ruckel Properties owns Palm Plaza in Niceville. Ruckel Properties has been the premier developer of commercial and residential property in Niceville and Valparaiso since 1955. Palm Plaza Shopping Center is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Palm Boulevard and John Sims Parkway in the heart of Niceville. With more than 100,000 square feet of commercial rental space, Palm Plaza has a wide range of tenants. For more information, call 850-678-2223 or visit www.ruckelproperties.com.
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