Story by USDA Rural Development.
Tara Kraft, owner of Colonial Cleaners and Laundromat in Worthington, MN, has replaced all of her “employees” over the last couple of years – over 90 to be exact. See, Tara considers her washers and dryers employees, and she has been upgrading her equipment to more energy efficient models.
Although she doesn’t have to compensate her employees as your average business owner might, the old washers and dryers “ate” a lot – a lot of energy that is. Kraft’s 45 new washers and dryers totaling over $500,000, use less water, natural gas and electricity. As a result, the new units are far more efficient in their work, allowing customers to get their laundry done in less time.
Kraft used a $10,510 REAP grant to assist in the upgrade of some of the dryer units.
“The REAP Program is a great help to small business like ours,” said Kraft. “The savings on energy costs have even allowed me to hire an additional part-time employee.” Although, we’re pretty sure that this new part-time employee will not be having lunch with Kraft’s other “employees.”
The new dryers increased drying efficiency by re-directing airflow and reversing the direction of the tumble to expedite the process.
Kraft also has nothing but good things to say about the Worthington Area Office staff who assisted her with the REAP application process. “They get an A+ for customer service,” said Kraft, “I was overwhelmed by how helpful they were.”
Tara has owned the Laundromat since 2006 and operates the business with her husband, two daughters and niece. A native of the island of Trinidad, she has made a significant impact in the short period of time she has lived in the United States. In addition to owning the Laundromat, the Krafts own a U-Haul and sewing/alternations business.
- Business: Laundromat
- Location: Worthington, MN
- Approach: Energy Efficiency
- Technology: 10 high efficiency Electrolux dryers
- Annual Energy Savings: 50% of natural gas bills
- Total Project Cost: $54,000
- REAP Grant Award: $10,510