CASE STUDY: Phillips Collection
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Spring 2020- HIGH POINT, NC – The signature wood and stone furnishings and sculptures from Phillips Collection stand out in any room. Owner Mark Phillips has recently received attention for a different distinction: He’s completed major energy efficiency retrofits to his 166,000-square-foot headquarters to demonstrate environmental responsibility, including adding a solar array to the building. At an electric cooperative conference in Asheville where he was invited to speak, he explained the many energy-saving changes they’ve made, including:
- Removing all halogen bulbs from track lighting and replacing with articulated LED fixtures newly invented for this purpose that make use of existing track (in collaboration with ERD of Kernersville) eliminating the need for expensive rewiring, and reducing cooling needs and lighting cost. They even acquired a specialized bulb disposal machine for the job.
- Right-sized the incoming power transformers with help from ElectriCITIES, modifying the facility’s demand
- Put in 3 electric vehicle charging spaces outside offering free power for customers who can plug in
- Implementing a solar installation for the business
Furniture design has long been a part of High Point’s culture and Mark’s company specializes in designing organic pieces that embrace natural materials. From mango and acacia tree roots to reclaimed teak, Phillips Collection sources sustainable materials and transforms them into prized conversation pieces. Mark acknowledges that his business depends largely on natural ecology and travels to Thailand to ensure that the next generation of arborists and carpenters are ready to continue a steady relationship with him and his team. On a recent visit he rallied a group of 400 — comprised of local students, teachers, factory workers, villagers and local officials — and together they planted 6,000 trees in a single day.
The initial interest in the possibility of solar came about because Mark and his company are so dedicated to sustainability and helping the environment. They wanted to look for even more ways to reduce their carbon footprint and make changes. They got into contact with members of the Renu Energy Solutions team and began discussing the opportunity.
The RENU Solution
After hearing of the potential, Phillips went solar at his home this month, and the business installation is scheduled for October. Renu Energy Solutions is providing both the residential and commercial installations. Combined they add up to 45 kiloWatts in total size, estimated to produce over 63,000 kiloWatt hours of solar power in its first year.
Because of the size and total production of the system, they will save 98,202 pounds of carbon dioxide. This equals over 5,000 gallons of gasoline and almost 50,000 pounds of coal burned.
About his choice to go solar, he says: “My father always said the big decisions in life are obvious. This was one of those.” For Mark, addressing energy sustainability expresses his values, and at the same time he notes that he’s likely to come out ahead by betting that the cost of electricity isn’t going down. He says he committed to energy efficiency and solar at his business and home to save money and because, “it’s the right thing to do.”