Tucked away on Columbia Road behind the bustling main drag of Adams Morgan’s 18th Street sits Bedrock Billiards. This neighborhood favorite is constantly bustling with patrons venturing in to enjoy the craft beers on tap, shuffle board table, large TVs playing whatever sports are in season, and of course the billiards tables.
Keeping this show running is no easy task. It requires a lot of energy both in the form of General Manager Ben Fiske’s attention, and in the kind that keeps the lights on and the beer cold.
At Clean Currents, we monitor our customers’ energy use patterns to help identify large changes. We noticed a large drop over a 2-year period in Bedrock Billiards’ energy use and decided to investigate.
Turns out Bedrock Billiards was tired of wasting money on high energy bills and chose to do something about it. Through a mix of big and small changes, they were able to bring down their electricity bill by about $200 a month.
The Big Stuff
A hot DC summer day combined with an old, inefficient HVAC system will quickly drive up energy usage so Bedrock Billiards replaced their 10 year old system with a newer and more efficient model. This, combined with regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly, reduced a major cost. Ben estimates it will pay for itself in roughly 4 years.
He then looked to another large appliance that gets regular use in the bar: the dishwasher. They installed a new “Energymizer” dishwasher to quickly and efficiently turnaround clean glasses for customers while reducing the electricity used.
The Small — But Mighty – Stuff
Ben then pointed to what he called the “common sense” action of replacing all the old lightbulbs with high efficiency lighting. It was an obvious move for a bar that is located below ground and opened predominantly at night. Ben says that LED lighting will be coming eventually and is hoping to install motion-detection lighting to further reduce their usage in coming years.
Finally, to get the most out of the big steps taken by Bedrock Billiards, Ben began instituted several behavioral changes in the bar. First, using the bar’s digital thermostat, he programmed the AC to turn on just before opening and shut off at last call. On top of reducing electricity usage, it has the added benefit of pushing out those stragglers at the bar after last call!
At his regular staff meetings, Ben has made it procedure to remind his employees to shut off lights when not in use. Previously, walk-in refrigerators regularly had their lights left on, but even small steps like turning off the lights can make a big difference and result in big savings.
Get your Electric Bill in Shape
Ben and Bedrock Billiards are still thinking up ways to save energy and money. Ben says he’s keeping an eye out for tax credits and rebates for upgrades he can make to the bar. If you want to get tips and information on how to reduce your energy usage, please reach out to Clean Currents!