West Branch Tennis Club

Creating a friendly, casual environment for tennis players of all ages and skill levels since 1975, the West Branch Tennis Club (WBTC) prides itself on the idea that it's not just a country club, but a place where anyone who is looking to get exercise, play tennis, have fun or meet new people can go. With its affordable member and non-member court rates, the WBTC quickly realized that if it wanted to keep their low rates and happy customers, it would need to come up with some sort of plan to reduce their operating costs. 
           
In July 2006, Steve Wilson, owner of WBTC contacted the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) through the Lock Haven Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to help start cutting utility costs. After reviewing their utility bills over the past year, EMAP made several recommendations on ways to reduce their energy costs. From those suggestions, WBTC decided to replace six inefficient gas fired heaters with six Energy Star® rated gas fired units. To mitigate some of the costs accompanying the switch to energy-conserving heaters, EMAP directed Steve to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Small Business Advantage Grant (SBAG) that could help him fund the energy efficiency project. 

Thanks to the EMAP consultant who guided Wilson through the grant application process, the WBTC was awarded $6,450 in 2006 to upgrade their heating system, saving WBTC $1,105 (742 gal of propane) the following year while reducing annual air emissions by 4 tons. 
           
In the following year of 2007, they sought the help of EMAP again and submitted for a second DEP Small Business Advantage Grant (SBAG). They were awarded a grant for $3,647 to replace ten showerheads in the locker rooms and two inefficient water heaters. This upgrade reduced WBTC’s annual water heating and pumping costs by $372 (3,400 kWh) and has decreased their annual water consumption by over 23,000 gallons.

Continuing with their energy efficiency progress, WTBC was awarded yet another DEP Small Business Advantage Grant (SBAG) for $7,500 in 2008 to completely upgrade the lighting over the tennis court area, which reduced their energy costs for an annual savings of $7,445 (67,680 kWh while reducing air emissions each year by 53 tons.

WBTC has continued their pursuit to improve energy efficiency by purchasing Energy Star rated washing machines and dryers for club use. In addition, they applied for and received the 2009 Small Business Advantage Grant (SBAG) to help finance their plan to ugrade the existing insulation with additional batt insulation, which will save WBTC an estimated $3,623 (2,328 therms) a year and reduce air emissions by 13.2 tons annually.
 
Overall WBTC has received a total of $25,097 in grants four years. With the completion of their fourth project, they will be saving $12,717 a year in energy costs from all four projects. Not including the grants, the capital cost for all four of their energy-efficient projects adds up to $75,896.
 
Taking an innovative and proactive approach to energy efficiency, WBTC has demonstrated that it is possible to successfully run a business while keeping the public’s best interest in mind. Their success goes to prove that there are cost effective ways to make capital improvements to reduce energy consumption while simultaneously reducing overall operating costs. With limited renewable fuel resources, every effort made to reduce energy consumption helps ensure that there is some left for future generations.