TO DATE, RENYS has received $108,176 in incentives from Efficiency Maine’s Business Program to help cover the $409,584 in energy-efficiency improvements. Best estimates show that Renys is saving more than $95,000 per year by using 634,381 fewer kilowatt-hours across its stores, a decrease that directly results in a lower operating budget.

TO DATE, RENYS has received $108,176 in incentives from Efficiency Maine’s Business Program to help cover the $409,584 in energy-efficiency improvements. Best estimates show that Renys is saving more than $95,000 per year by using 634,381 fewer kilowatt-hours across its stores, a decrease that directly results in a lower operating budget.

NEWCASTLE — Renys Department Stores are watching energy costs decrease at 12 of their 16 locations since completing 30 projects through Efficiency Maine programs, according to a news release.

Renys began using Efficiency Maine incentives in 2006 and has replaced old fluorescent lights with new energy-efficient lighting; insulated walls, ceilings and basements; and installed energy-efficient windows and high-tech heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems with programmable energy controls.

Because Renys operates the majority of its retail stores in aging downtown buildings, most have needed energy improvements. To date, Renys has received $108,176 in incentives from Efficiency Maine’s Business Program to help cover the $409,584 in energy-efficiency improvements. Best estimates show that Renys is saving more than $95,000 per year by using 634,381 fewer kilowatt-hours across its stores, a decrease that directly results in a lower operating budget.

“Being a year-round retail business is tough in Maine. By keeping our operating costs down, we are able to stay in business during the slow retail sales months,” said Bob Reny, son of founder Robert H. Reny. “We pride ourselves on giving Mainers a local established place to shop year-round, while providing consistent full-time work for employees and hopefully even pay them a bonus. In addition, we’re able to pass those savings along to our customers and keep our prices reasonable.”

Renys has undertaken several projects each year, including complete building rehabilitations when they open a new store. One of the first priorities for Bob Reny and his team when they open a new store is making the building as energy effi- cient as possible. To determine an efficiency upgrade plan, Renys meets with an Efficiency Maine representative who recommends a list of energy-saving projects. After reviewing the recommendations, one of Efficiency Maine’s qualified partners is hired to perform the upgrades.

Qualified Partners, or QPs, are contractors located throughout the state who are specially trained in Efficiency Maine’s incentive programs. A complete list can be found at www.efficiencymaine.com/at-work/qualifiedpartners.

“The money we save on energy costs in our existing locations has given us the impetus to open new stores,” said Reny. “We know going in that we’ll need to invest in upgrades, but we also know that we’ll recoup that money when we invest in energy efficiency. With the Efficiency Maine Business Program as an energy partner, it’s like always having a trusted consultant at your side.”

Once the work has been inspected, qualified businesses can apply for an incentive to help with the cost. According to Reny, Qualified Partners he has used such as Gilman Electric or WestCo will complete and submit the necessary paperwork to Efficiency Maine. Incentive reimbursements generally take a month or less from the time the work is completed and inspected.

“Efficiency Maine projects give you that push to do the energy-efficiency upgrades because they’ll pay for themselves over time, and often we start seeing the savings right away,” said Reny.

In addition to opening two new stores in 2011 in Topsham and Portland, the company has undertaken six projects to replace lighting at the main warehouse in Newcastle, and in its retail stores in Damariscotta, Gardiner, Dexter, Madison and Farmington. The improved lighting creates a better work environment for employees and a better shopping experience for customers. “It’s like the difference between night and day,” Reny said. “We didn’t realize we had been working in the dark.”

And Renys isn’t done yet. There are plans to finish energy upgrades in the Bath store, install a new HVAC unit in Belfast and undertake a big expansion project in Damariscotta.

“Efficiency Maine is dedicated to helping Mainers save on energy costs with solutions that reduce their demand for heating fuels and electricity,” said Efficiency Maine Executive Director Michael Stoddard. “We’ve basically discovered the cheapest energy in America — and that’s energy efficiency.”

To learn more about Efficiency Maine’s lowinterest business loans, incentives, and free, independent technical advice, including how to connect with a participating energy adviser, visit www.EfficiencyMaine.com or call 1-866- 376-2463.

About Renys

¦ RENYS WAS FOUNDED in 1949 when Robert H. Reny (better known to all as “R.H.”) opened his first store in Damariscotta.

Renys, based in Newcastle, now employs between 375 and 475 people at its warehouse and in 16 store locations across Maine: Damariscotta (2), Bridgton, Gardiner, Farmington, Dexter, Madison, Pittsfield, Bath, Camden, Saco, Belfast, Ellsworth, Wells, Portland and Topsham.

¦ MORE INFORMATION about Renys can be found at www.renys.com.

About Efficiency Maine

¦ EFFICIENCY MAINE is an independent trust dedicated to promoting the more efficient and cost-effective use of energy in order to save money for Maine residents and businesses, grow the economy, and create jobs. The organization helps businesses and residents across the state to use energy resources more efficiently, reduce energy costs, and lighten the impact on Maine’s environment from the burning of fossil fuels.

¦ FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit www.Efficiency- Maine.com or call 1-866-376-2463.


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