The Auto Clinic has become more energy efficient with solar power. This is the final phase of a complete, multi-faceted conversion The Auto Clinic has undergone to save energy while thinking of the future.

Lee’s Summit residents since 1989, Gene and Beth Fellows purchased The Auto Clinic in 2003 with the intention of providing trustworthy service to friends, family and neighbors. The Fellows also are very invested in the community; actively involved with the Lee’s Summit Chamber, their church, Lee’s Summit school district, Lee’s Summit Soccer Association and teen driving clinics twice a year.

The Auto Clinic began its complete energy conversion last July by switching out all 26 shop lights from 400W to 200W LED lamp assemblies. This decision was encouraged by a KCP&L rebate, which ultimately saved them $305 per lamp. A big project that would have cost $12,900 was reduced to $4,970 after the rebates. The next switch was the front sign (which you can see from Hwy 50 on Oldham Pkwy), upgraded from 20 9-foot fluorescent bulbs to a series of LED strips. They have seen an energy savings of over 2,000 kWh per month by these changes alone.

And finally, the biggest undertaking has been the solar panel project with MC Power Companies. It all started with Fellows talking with a customer who was installing solar panels at his home, which intrigued him to know more about all the effects. After speaking with multiple companies, they chose to work with MC Power last summer for both the project planning overview and cost. Hours of planning with the city, KCP&L, engineers and MC Power led to the actual install in April. The overall project to install 120 solar panels, at 315 kWh each, on the shop roof and integrate those into the power was about a 9-month project, but will offer years of return.

In order to fully monitor the energy savings, MC Power has set up a computer monitoring program that can show to-the-minute energy production, reporting daily, weekly or monthly for full understanding of the ongoing benefits. Any extra energy produced is sold back to KCP&L for 2 cents per kWh. Coupled with the two light conversion projects, the solar project should cover 70 percent to 80 percent of their electrical usage annually.

All the above is not the only way The Auto Clinic is green. The company has been using waste oil to heat a water boiler, which then goes into radiant floor heating for the shop.

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