Koko FitClub members may soon be turning green as they work out.
When Koko FitClub opened in December 2009, owner Paul Romeo was already interested in issues of sustainability. He arranged for an energy audit and implemented the resulting suggestions such as programmable thermostats, smart lighting and timers so that machines go off at night. He also recycles plastic and cardboard. Recently he stopped printing customer contracts and instead sends a digital copy via email.
As an avid “Koko nut,” as we say, I was anxious to tell Paul about the GO GREEN Needham campaign, an effort to publicize local businesses’ sustainable practices and encourage them to take next steps. We set up a time to talk and he told me about all that he has done. Thinking of what further actions could be taken, I encouraged him to get another energy audit since a lot has changed since 2010. I gave him the link to World Energy Services, the Eversource-authorized Mass Save contractor that does no-cost energy assessments for businesses in Needham and Newton. Link in hand, Paul made the contact and quickly set up a time for the audit.
The resulting proposal includes a total LED upgrade project with a price tag over $12,000. Gulp! But wait, Eversource will pay for 74% of the complete project cost. The final 26% can be paid back to Eversource over the course of 24 months at 0% interest. This is a cash flow positive project that yields more in monthly energy savings than the monthly re-payment cost. SOLD. The 5-year kWh reduction is 92,735 kWh! The project will be completed in August. (Note that the percentage of a project that is covered by Eversource depends on the projected energy savings.)
Exercising makes you thirsty and it is important to stay hydrated. Koko provides a filtered water dispenser that customers can use to make hot tea or fill up a cup or water bottle with cold water. Many customers use the plastic cups provided for water and put them in the nearby recycle bin. I explained to Paul that currently there are a lot of issues about recycling and that the first of the 3Rs is to reduce. As a further commitment to the GO GREEN Needham campaign, Paul has agreed to promote BYOB (water bottle that is) and to greatly reduce the plastic cups.