Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Conservation: MacPherson Leather Company | Before Conservation: $mart Business Program

MacPherson Leather Company Case Study
New Light on Leather

MacPherson Leather Company on Beacon Hill supplies leather parts to wholesalers, designers and shoe repair businesses. On 3 floors covering about 16,000 square feet, they stock thousands of leather pieces ranging in size from tiny leather button holes to bolts of material big enough to recover a couch. So what does all this have to do with lighting? "Sending out the correct order is critical to our business", says Greg MacPherson, owner. "Colors and sizes must be exact. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for among 10,000 stock numbers because of poor lighting, you’re in trouble."

Greg knew the lighting in the old warehouse building was at least 40 years old. He’d already changed out thousands of ballasts, but was still stuck with the same green-hued fluorescent lamps. What looked red in the basement was orange on the first floor and pink in the office on the 3rd floor.

So when Ruben Ostrea of Ostrea Energy Controls, Inc. approached Greg with a lighting proposal that promised increased light levels and high quality color rendering at reduced energy costs, Greg was hopeful. "What really sold us," Greg said, "was the rebate Seattle City Light offered through its Small Commercial Rebate [now $mart Business] Program. Finally a lighting program for small businesses that was simple and easy to apply for." Conservation: MacPherson Leather Company | After After Ruben changed out the existing 198 T12 magnetically ballasted lamps to energy efficient electronically ballasted T8’s, the transformation was dramatic. Employees now have enough light to read stock numbers anywhere in the warehouse where they are stored as well as match colors, rather than taking stock to a better lit area. "Until I saw the improvement, I had no idea our existing lighting was that bad", Greg said after the upgrade. "The only advantage to waiting so long was getting the rebate from Seattle City Light's Small Commercial Rebate [now $mart Business] Program," he added.

"We now have uniform light throughout the warehouse, better color rendering and much higher light levels; and all at lower energy costs! Plus we got a rebate. This is a program where everyone wins," said the satisfied owner of MacPherson Leather Company.

MacPherson Leather Company Case Study Project Information

Owner: Greg MacPherson
Location: 519 12th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144
Description: High efficiency lamp and ballast replacement
Cost: $13,736.81
Seattle City Light Incentive Rebate Amount: $10,410.00
Annual Projected Energy Savings: 29,386 kWh
Seattle City Light Trade Ally: Ostrea Energy Controls, Inc.


For complete $mart Business Program information, please e-mail or call:
Marilou Trias at marilou.trias@seattle.gov, 206.684.4293 or Charles Valentin at charles.valentin@seattle.gov, 206.684.4215.

Program incentives may change based on funding availability.


Energy Smart Services | Customer Achievements | Climate Wise Partners