“Why would you have your vending machine lights and compressors on or running when nobody is around?” asked Bill Bieganek of EnergyMisers, LLC, the Minnesota company that sells the “VendingMiser”. You might not know it, but the average beverage vending machine runs more often than is needed to keep drinks cold and attract customers. It also costs around $300 every year to supply it with electricity. Installing a small, simple device called a VendingMiser on a machine can reduce its energy usage by 46% and save approximately $130 per year on energy costs.
“A VendingMiser is a simple little device that lowers the energy use of a beverage vending machine without affecting its performance,” says Lissa Pawlisch, Statewide Coordinator for the Clean Energy Resource Teams. “VendingMisers also reduce operation and compressor maintenance costs on the machines—which has the added benefit of helping them last longer. This is your chance to take action and save big.”
Typically a VendingMiser costs roughly $179, but until May 1st, 2010, groups can participate in a statewide VendingMiser Bulk-Buy Program that will reduce this cost to $164 – if not even further. With numerous utilities across the state offering rebates of $50-$75 per VendingMiser purchase, participating organizations can shorten this payback to as little as one year.
When asked why he was participating, David Pederson, President of Bowlmor Lanes Inc. in Fairmont, responded bluntly that he would take advantage of “Any way to save on my electric cost without a large investment.”
The Clean Energy Resource Teams, EnergyMisers, LLC, and Minnesota Waste Wise’s Energy Smart are encouraging businesses, schools, local governments, and anyone else with a cold-drink vending machine to join in and save. The primary goal is to place 200 VendingMisers on cold-drink vending machines in Minnesota, resulting in energy savings of over 335,000 kilowatt hours per year—which amounts to roughly $26,800.
The program has been underway for a little less than a month and over 100 VendingMisers have already been ordered. “We’re well on our way to the goal of 200 VendingMisers, and we hope to exceed it by May 1st,” said Joel Haskard, Co-Coordinator for the Clean Energy Resource Teams.
Most middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across Minnesota have vending machines that could be using 46% less energy—providing much needed budget dollars for other programs. Kristi Moberg, Local Environmental Focus Team (LEFT) Advisor at Ortonville High School, had this to say: “Our group is participating in the VendingMiser campaign because it will save our school money as well as decrease our carbon footprint by decreasing our electricity usage.”
Many Minnesota cities and counties have vending machines at their government buildings, community centers, or parks. The City of St. Peter was one of the first cities in the state to sign up. “The City of Saint Peter is happy to participate in the VendingMiser Campaign from CERTS as a way to lower energy costs in City buildings for our taxpayers,” said City of Saint Peter Administrator, Todd Prafke. “We believe so strongly in the program that we have been spreading word about the campaign to all our local businesses and organizations and encouraging them to place their orders for the VendingMiser.”
The City of St. Peter’s municipal utility and 17 others in south-central and southeastern Minnesota get their electricity and other related services from Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA). “SMMPA is excited to support the CERTs VendingMiser Campaign,” remarked John O’Neil, Manager of Energy Efficiency & Member Support Programs. “The special pricing through CERTs combined with our 18 member utilities’ $50 rebate to their customers results in a payback of less than one year. We hope anyone with a beverage vending machine takes advantage of this limited-time opportunity to save energy and money and help make their community a little greener.”
Program partner Jill Curran, Energy Smart Program Manager, urges anyone with a vending machine to take action: “Purchasing a discounted energy efficiency device doesn’t get much easier. The program is well-structured and easy to understand. Energy Smart recommends that you take advantage of this opportunity and start saving today.”
Help us spread the word! Download a press release about the campaign and send it to people you know and local media, or view the press release online here.
The VendingMiser Bulk-Buy Program is the first in a series of “CERTified Campaigns” from the Clean Energy Resource Teams to provide Minnesotans with clear and actionable ways to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in their community. To learn about other campaigns, visit http://act.mncerts.org.