For Gary and Pamela Ida, owners of All Season Tire Pros in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, sustainability is important.
The couple, who lives on a farm outside of town, heat their house using geothermal pipes, use solar panels for energy and have set aside a part of their land as a butterfly sanctuary.
So when the opportunity came to make their shop run on solar energy, they jumped at the chance.
A little over a week ago, All Season Tire Pros had 84 solar panels installed on the roof of their business in an opportunity provided by the Wisconsin-based nonprofit Focus on Energy.
Though the program, businesses who install solar panels get a credit for the power they’re generating and get reimbursed for a portion of the costs of the panels. Gary said All Season Tire Pros will get a seven-year payback on the solar panels, which are protected under coverage for 20-plus years.
“Electric only keeps getting more expensive,” Gary explained as the reason for switching to solar. “If we can save money for the next 20-25 years, we want to be a part of it.”
Gary said All Season Tire Pros has practiced sustainability in many other aspects of the shop. They reuse oil from oil changes, are active in their tire recycling program, use battery-powered impact guns and hope to do more as opportunities arise.
“It’s just doing whatever bit we can do to help to make things better in the world,” Gary says. “I grew up on a farm, so I’ve always been aware of the environment. If everyone would do their part, things would be better in the world.”