Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Not Just a Pet Project: Audit Leads Oklahoma City Vet to Energy Efficiency

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Not Just a Pet Project: Audit Leads Oklahoma City Vet to Energy Efficiency

Article excerpt

Rick McNeal, owner of Ranchwood Veterinary Hospital in south Oklahoma City, realized he had an expensive problem.

"I knew I was hemorrhaging a large amount of money in energy costs," he said. "I was paying about $1,600 every month."

So McNeal had an energy audit on the about 4,000-square-foot veterinary hospital at 10505 S. Santa Fe Ave.

The audit resulted in a series of environmentally friendly and energy-efficiency initiatives at the veterinary hospital, including the installation of solar panels, radiant barriers, solar attic fans and new insulation.

The solar panels were installed earlier this month by Sun City Solar of Oklahoma City.

During the first week with 10 solar panels in operation the veterinary clinic saved 76.7 kilowatt-hours of energy use, McNeal said. When the entire system is operational, it will include 22 solar panels.

NcNeal said he has long been concerned with environmental issues.

"The environment has been an obsession with me since I was a child," he said.

He became concerned about the environmental effect of the clinic after he purchased Ranchwood Veterinary Hospital in 2005.

"I realized I could serve as an example to other people," he said. "Solar power is a logical extension of being a good steward of the environment and sets an example for my employees and the community."

Other energy-efficiency efforts include replacing florescent lights in most of the veterinary clinic.

"We went from 3,200 watts of lighting in the office area to 320 watts," he said.

McNeal also installed an Ecobee Smart Thermostat, allowing him to monitor and control the temperature from remote locations. He is considering seeking LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The building was in need of energy modifications when he purchased the veterinary hospital five years ago, McNeal said.

What is now home of Ranchwood Veterinary Hospital was built for residential use in the 1960s, but has been used as an animal clinic and the clinic's Pet Resort for three decades. …

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