LEDs a Win for Racing Shop

Fitchburg auto shop boosts business but lowers energy use through lighting upgrade.

Kelly Moss

General Manager Andy Kilcoyne with Kelly-Moss’s Porsche race cars under new LED lights.

The team at Kelly-Moss Road and Race, a specialty auto shop in Fitchburg, has a passion for racing. Their work is careful and, often times, cutting edge. But, after nearly 30 years in business, their 70,000-square-foot facility was in need of a major upgrade – lighting. It became a major concern after a social media post generated worldwide attention in the industry.

"We have a client who had us build a rally car for him and he posted one picture of it on Instagram and Twitter. Within seven days, we probably had 14 publications wanting to do stories on us. Our phone started ringing off the hook," said Victoria Thomas, Kelly-Moss Finance Manager.

Business exploded. Requests for projects poured in from around the world, according to Thomas. But the rise in workload caused a spike in electricity use because the shop started running 18 hours every day of the week.

"There are a lot of employees here, so it's a lot of lights on all of the time," said Kelly-Moss General Manager Andy Kilcoyne.

LEDs light the way

Kelly-Moss turned to MGE to help figure out a way to conserve energy. MGE provided historical utility data to Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's energy efficiency and renewable energy program, to verify Kelly-Moss was eligible for its Small Business Program.

Kelly-Moss made the decision to pursue financial incentives offered through that program. The company received a Focus incentive worth $4,754 to replace nearly 1,200 of the building's fluorescent lamps with energy-efficient LEDs. Focus on Energy estimates the company will save $85,991 on energy costs over the projected lifetime of the new lights.

LEDs are brighter and last 15 to 25 times longer than fluorescents. When purchasing new lightbulbs, look for the ENERGY STAR® label for efficient, safe and reliable lighting.

The switch by Kelly-Moss to LEDs not only saves energy but also improves the work environment for employees.

"We try to be as efficient as we can in our work and with our energy usage, and this lighting upgrade really allowed us to make major strides in both areas," said Kilcoyne.

Energy efficiency is key to reducing carbon emissions

By partnering with Focus and with MGE to reduce their use, Kelly-Moss also is reducing its impact. Energy efficiency is widely recognized as a key, long-term strategy for reducing carbon emissions. By working with our customers, MGE is targeting at least a 40% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and at least an 80% reduction by 2050. By reducing our energy use, we can reduce our need for additional electric generation and help to reduce our long-term costs for all customers.

published: 06-29-2018