Saving 173 acres of forest -- and $20,000 in yearly power bills
COLUMBIA, Mo 12/7/13 (Beat Byte) -- Forty solar panels atop a sun-friendly roof have helped Columbia Safety/GME Supply to become the city's largest "net zero" electric power building (left).
Designed and installed by EnergyLink, the 35,000 watt system produces as much energy as the building consumes, making it a "net zero" electric power -- and environmentally-friendly -- consumer.
With an expected 30-year life, the solar power system will not only save trees over the long run -- it will drastically reduce the company's power bills.
"It's not only good for the environment, it’s good for business," said Columbia Safety/GME owner Beau Aero, who estimates his firm will save more than $20,000 per year in electricity bills. The solar panels also qualify for city and Federal rebates, which Aero says will help the system pay for itself in five years.
At 1801 Westfall Dr. in Columbia, the 26,000 square foot building houses a showroom, safety learning center, international call center, photography and YouTube video production studio, and distribution warehouse.
"We strive to be a progressive, forward-thinking company," said Aero, who founded the company in 2005. A University of Missouri journalism grad, Aero has long-time mid-Missouri roots. His family founded Boonville-based GlenMartin, which manufactures telecommunications and power transmission towers.
Columbia Safety/GME Supply relocated to Columbia from Brooklyn, NY in 2011. The firm offers personal protective equipment, traffic safety supplies, hand and power tools.