"It paid for itself in the first 3 months:" Hundreds of businesses benefit from small energy changes

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Lighting accounts for 13% of all the energy used in a restaurant. But a Wisconsin based company is working to help business and home owners cut that cost by something as simple as changing a light bulb.

Points East Pub is famous for their wings -- but keeping up with the demand means more cooking, more lights used, and more money spent. So owner, Mark Rasmussen, made a few changes that help his bottom line.

"All in all, I should have done it a long time ago," said Rasmussen.

In March, CJM Lighting & Electrical replaced 120 halogen light bulbs with LED's.

"They're a comparable version of what they're replacing so the light output is going to be the same, it's going to use a fraction of the energy and it's going to run cooler," said Jeff O'Connor, with CJM Lighting & Electrical.

They also changed 10 dimmer switches, added senors to low traffic areas so lights automatically turn off when the space is empty, and added a plastic strip curtain to prevent cool air from leaking out of the basement refrigerator.

"As you walk in it shuts right behind you so now as we're in here the door is open but you're preventing any loss of cooling in here," said O'Connor.

This was all done through the Focus On Energy small business program which partners with your local utility company.

"I paid like $400 and I'm making a buck and half of it back in savings meaning $150. So it paid for itself in the first 3 months," said Rasmussen.

It's a saving that required small changes Rasmussen wished he made a long time ago.

"Oh I love it, what's not to love," said Rasmussen.

In Milwaukee, 824 businesses have participated in this program. combined, they have saved $1.4 million over the last 2 1/2 years.

If people want to participate in the Focus on Energy program they can do so by calling 877-229-6678 or going to focusonenergy.com.