ST PAUL – O’Gara’s Bar and Grill has been a fixture on the corner of Snelling and Selby for decades. Thanks to Energy Smart, this family-owned Irish watering hole just got a little bit greener: a recent lighting upgrade will save approximately 85,000 kilowatt-hours and thousands of dollars in energy costs per year.
According to owner Dan O’Gara, the business had explored energy efficient lighting in the past but hadn’t found anything that was quite right for the restaurant’s ambiance. Energy Smart conducted a site visit in March and recommended swapping out all incandescent bulbs for a specific kind of LED made for the hospitality industry as well as replacing outdated fluorescent T12 lamps with newer T8s. Energy Smart provided information on energy savings potential and referred O’Gara to rebate programs to help offset a majority of the project costs.
“Now that they finally came out with LEDs that work great for hospitality, we were able to match the color and light output of our existing lamps,” says O’Gara. “Plus, the LEDs are dimmable which was a huge factor in our decision to make an upgrade.” He adds, “The fluorescent fixture upgrade in the kitchen has drastically improved the light output while saving on energy.”
O’Gara’s will save about $5,500 annually with the changes. The project’s payback is estimated to be less than one year. “I’m super happy with the results,” says O’Gara. “It’s nice not to have to go around and change out light bulbs all the time. We look forward to seeing the savings on our utility bills.”