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First and Last Tavern recently teamed up with Eversource on energy-saving lighting improvements made to its Plainville and Avon locations. The upgrades will save the restaurants more than $18,000 in annual energy costs, collectively, while delivering an efficient and modernized atmosphere. 
 
“Originally, First and Last Tavern staff members were switching out bulbs on their own. They soon realized they were either choosing the wrong types of bulbs or ones that didn’t last long,” said Eversource Energy Efficiency spokesman Enoch Lenge. “We helped them choose long-lasting LEDs. They’re aesthetically pleasing and deliver a great return on investment.” 
 
LEDs are up to 90 percent more efficient than incandescent lights and reduce the need for frequent replacements, which was once a challenge for Russ Nemarich, Vice President, First and Last Tavern. 
 
“We no longer see customers using their cell phones to read the menu because a light bulb is out above them,” said Nemarich. “Our upgraded lighting is consistent, lasts longer, and prevents me from climbing a ladder. I can focus on important aspects of the business like our operations, staff, and customers.”
 
Nemarich added, “The cost of food, beverage and labor is rising. As a small business, we don’t see a lot of opportunities for savings. It’s easy for companies or programs to say they can benefit small businesses, but this program actually delivers.” 
 
First and Last Tavern completed the upgrades through Energize Connecticut’s Small Business Energy Advantage program. Paquette Electric Company installed the upgrades.
 
“Lighting is crucial to a restaurant’s ambiance and also accounts for roughly 25 percent of its energy bill,” said Ted Decyk, Paquette Electric Company. “That in mind, we were sure to install the right bulbs and controls to match the desired atmosphere while reducing their energy usage.”
 
Small Business Energy Advantage program highlights include:
•Comprehensive energy-saving proposals that detail the measures to make businesses more energy efficient and projected savings 
•Financial incentives for efficient lighting, controls, and kitchen equipment like refrigerators, smart hoods, ovens and freezers 
•Zero-interest financing available to qualified customers. Loan payments are added right to their electric bills in one monthly payment
•No upfront costs for installed upgrades 
•Two-year warranty on contractors’ parts and labor
 
First and Last Tavern is currently evaluating making similar lighting upgrades to its Glastonbury location.
 
For more information on Energize Connecticut’s business energy solutions administered by Eversource, please visit EnergizeCT.com/your-business or call 877.WISE.USE (877-947-3873).
 
About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, UI, SCG and CNG, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com. 
 
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