As a small business owner, Sonny Hill is always seeking ways to save costs while improving operations. When Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) presented the opportunity to make cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades at his hardware store, Hill jumped at the chance.

“It was a no-brainer,” says Hill, who has owned and operated Mechanicsville Building Supply in Southern Maryland for 50 years.

SMECO upgraded all of the shop’s lighting, removing the old system and installing 165 energy-efficient lamps. The change has resulted in savings of 25 percent on energy costs, according to Hill.

The new lights also have created a brighter shopping environment for customers, made the store cooler because of reduced heat from wasted energy and decreased the number of times bulbs need replacing.

“It’s probably been two years, and I have not had to replace a bulb,” Hill says.

The smooth and simple upgrade process took one day, and thanks to $6,000 in rebates from the State of Maryland, installation costs remained minimal.

mechanicsvillepictureThe experience has been so beneficial that Hill has eagerly shared information about the improvements with other business owners as well. Three have joined Hill in upgrading their lights.

“When your bottom line shows an improvement, that right there is an indication that it’s a good thing,” Hill says.

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