Geochemical Testing

Since 1981, Tim Bergstresser had worked at Geochemical Testing, a company that provides environmental and energy analytical services for a broad range of clients that range from utility and coal companies to municipal authorities, landfills, and private companies with treatment or pollution control requirements. 

Then, in the summer of 2008, Bergstresser bought Geochemical Testing, along with all the buildings and ancillary equipment associated with the business. 

Eager to continue the company’s success, Tim was interested in making energy improvements to his office space and laboratory.   In particular, he was looking to convert to one large walk-in from his less efficient multiple double-door bottle coolers and small walk-in cooler by consolidating his analytical sampling cooling capacity.

Upon a recommendation from his business consultant at the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Tim went to Lee Ann Briggs, an environmental consultant, for advice.

After conducting an on-site energy assessment, Lee Ann suggested he make other upgrades in addition to cooler consolidation, including the installation of high efficiency lighting fixtures, occupancy sensors, LED exit signs, and programmable thermostats.

In addition to her valuable input, Lee Ann was also instrumental in informing Bergstresser about opportunities that were available to him through the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEPs) Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant (SBEEG), a program that provides 25 percent matching grants of up to $25,000 for eligible projects.

Through SDO’s assistance, Bergstresser submitted the SBEEG grant application, focusing solely on the purchase and installation of a new larger walk-in cooler. Bergstresser’s SBEEG grant application request for $18,247 was approved in the fall of 2009, with the total project costing $72,986.

The upgrade to the more efficient and larger walk-in cooler results in annual savings of over 18,120 kWh of electricity and over $1,800 savings in annual costs.  In addition to the conservation of electricity and business costs, the upgrade also reduces emissions by over 14 tons over the course of a year.

The cooler itself is constructed with materials that meet and/or exceed current federal standards for walk-in coolers and include full insulation for the ceiling, walls and floor.  It is also equipped with an outside air economizer to help reduce energy usage.