New York’s first net-zero energy use store opens in Miller Place

New York’s first net-zero energy use store opens in Miller Place

Brinkmann True Value Hardware in Miller Place celebrates its grand opening on Friday, July 24. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

The first net-zero energy use store in New York opened in Miller Place on Friday.

Brinkmann True Value Hardware is the first building in the state to earn the net-zero status, according to PSEG Long Island. This means the total amount of annual energy used is approximately equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the property.

Local elected officials, members of PSEG Long Island and Green Logic Energy, a renewable energy design and installation company, attended the grand opening.

“We were always interested in solar power, but when we met Al, it grew into something bigger. Net-zero energy got in our head, as soon as we heard of the idea we fell in love with it,” co-owner Ben Brinkmann said.

Al, or Albert Harsch, renewable energy consultant for Green Logic Energy, was very excited to see the idea come to fruition.

“It stands as an example of what businesses can do on Long Island and I want to congratulate the Brinkmann family for being pioneers in this.”

Green Logic Energy was contracted by the Brinkmann family to design and enhance the different technologies needed to effectively and efficiently create a net-zero result.

During the planning and construction phase, the family also worked with PSEG through the utility’s Commercial Efficiency Program, which offers resources as well as rebates to customers who install energy efficient equipment.

The Brinkmann family was surprised to find out that they were the first net-zero building not only in their industry, but also the first retail facility in the state.

Energy efficiency measures for the store include solar panels, geothermal heating and air conditioning, LED lighting and equipment, and a thermoplastic cool roof. The cool roof is able to reflect sunlight and heat away from a building, which reduces the roof temperature.

By employing energy efficient measures, store will save 64,000-kilowatt hours of energy per year, for savings of roughly $11,000 annually.

According to PSEG, the initiative is equivalent to removing 27 cars from the road or 14,804 gallons of gas not consumed, annually.

“These small businesses continue to invest in the community, and we’re seeing a resurgence of these kind of establishments, our residents want a personal touch when they shop,” Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro (R) said.

Losquadro said he hopes the store will serve as an inspiration and model for the town.

The Brinkmann family is in no way done with their efforts.

“We have more expansion planned, it’s our goal by 2025 to be net-zero company-wide,” Brinkmann said.

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