A SIMPLE TWIST OF ENERGY EFFICIENT BULBS SAVES HOM FURNITURE MONEY AND ENERGY

-Focus on Energy collaborates with BLI Lighting to implement energy efficient improvements-

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (November 7, 2005) - HOM Furniture, one of the nation's largest furniture retailers serving customers in the upper Midwestern states, will save more than $27,000 in energy costs in the next ten years. The savings are one of the benefits of installing 2,000 ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) throughout HOM Furniture's Eau Claire storeroom. HOM Furniture Real Estate Director Ralph Kloiber worked with Minnesota-based BLI Lighting Specialists to determine the best lighting options for the 96,000 square foot store. Through its partnership with Focus on Energy, the state's energy efficiency and renewable energy program, BLI Lighting Specialists provided the retailer with instant Cash-Back Rewards of more than $4,000 toward the purchase of the CFLs - reducing the investment by more than half.


For the past four years, Focus on Energy has educated Wisconsin residents and businesses about the benefits of switching to CFLs to reduce their utility bills while saving energy and protecting the environment. The efficiency measures implemented by HOM Furniture are expected to reduce annual energy consumption enough to power 35 Wisconsin homes for one year.

"We read a lot of research about the benefits of implementing energy efficient improvements within a workplace and realized that we could receive a fairly fast payback along with instant rewards to save energy and money," said Kloiber. "Since 1996, we've been installing ENERGY STAR qualified lighting in all HOM Furniture locations and results have shown that our business has benefited ultimately lowering our operating costs."

The bulbs installed in HOM Furniture's Eau Claire showroom will not only help the store's bottom line but will help the environment as well by preventing the emissions 840,000 pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere the first year alone. That is the environmental equivalent of removing 57 cars from the road.

"Switching to CFLs was a really smart business decision for HOM Furniture," said Bruce Peterson, of BLI Lighting Specialists. "We were happy to supply the CFLs that will help their bottom line, as well as prove valuable to our community's environment."

Commercial businesses have numerous opportunities to save money through energy efficiency. Focus on Energy offers a range of services to owners and managers of commercial businesses including support in developing an energy management plan tailored to the businesses, research into new technologies that can save money and improve productivity, assistance in communicating with internal audiences of the benefits of increasing energy efficiency in their business and locating contractors and incentives to help buy down the equipment costs.

"Focus on Energy can work with any business to identify energy efficiency opportunities," said Dean Laube, Energy Advisor for Focus on Energy's Commercial Program. "Many owners and facility managers know that they spend a lot of money on utilities, but they may not be aware of ways they can control these costs and that Focus on Energy can help."

About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment and ensure the future
supply of energy for Wisconsin. Since July 2001, the program has helped Wisconsin's businesses and residents cut their annual utility bills by more than $86 million - reducing their energy consumption by more than 725 million kilowatt-hours and more than 35 million therms of natural gas. For more information, call 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com.



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