Small Business Owner Sees Benefit of Efficiency, Saves Thousands

Small Business Owner Sees Benefit of Efficiency, Saves Thousands

Gillett, Wis.
We Energies

Gillett Shell Continues Collaboration with Focus on Energy in Lighting Project

Gillett, Wis. – An energy-conscious convenience store owner, a helpful contractor and FOCUS ON ENERGY® collaborated on recent projects that will reduce energy waste and save the store money for years to come.

Jerry Luther has owned the Gillett Shell in the Town of Gillett in Oconto County for 16 years, running a thriving small business that serves the local community and travelers driving by on Highway 32.

Luther has worked with Focus on Energy over the years on a series of lighting and refrigeration upgrades to increase energy efficiency. He took advantage of Focus on Energy financial incentives to upgrade the store’s fuel canopy light fixtures to induction technology and upgrade to vertical LED case lighting in his refrigerator and freezer cases. Last year, Luther replaced all of the fluorescent lighting in his store with high-efficiency LED bulbs. Outside of the store, LED exterior wall packs and LED pole-mounted area lights replaced older, High Intensity Discharge (HID) technology.

Combined, all the lighting upgrades at the Gillett Shell will save more than 340,000 kilowatt hours of electricity over the life of the equipment and are estimated to save the business more than $37,000 in avoided energy costs.

Luther first learned of Focus on Energy at the annual Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association Convention, which he regularly attends to network with other convenience store owners and vendors, and he sees the value of improving the efficiency of his store.

He says he is very pleased with the results, saying the updates have made the store brighter, reduced maintenance and reduced monthly electricity costs by 25%.

“Anyone looking to upgrade equipment should contact Focus on Energy,” Luther said while praising the involvement and persistence of Ryan Christnovich at Pro Lighting Service, a Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor. Christnovich regularly stopped at the Gillett Shell every four to six weeks to check in, perform general lighting maintenance and offer suggestions on how Luther can take advantage of various Focus on Energy incentives.

“After the job was done, Jerry said he couldn’t wait till it was dark out so he could see what it (the lighting) would look like,” Christnovich says. “I called him a few days later for a follow-up and he told me that he now feels like his store, being right alongside a tourist-type highway, looks open for business. Those are the things I love to hear from my customers!”

Gillett Shell was recently awarded the 2019 Energy Efficiency Leader in Retail for its ongoing commitment to energy efficiency in Wisconsin.

Focus on Energy offers energy expertise and financial incentives to business and residential customers of the 107 Wisconsin utilities that participate in the program. A recent third-party evaluation of Focus on Energy noted it runs the most-cost-effective statewide energy efficiency programs in the nation.

About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit

Two people stand in a grocery store, holding a plaque. Behind them is a wall of refrigerators filled with beverages, under a sign that reads "Energy Drinks".

Photo: Melissa Schmitz from Focus on Energy and Jerry Luther from Gillett Shell.

Gillett, Wis.
We Energies (Wisconsin Electric Power Company)

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