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Success Stories

A Rural Business is Reaping the Rewards of Increased Energy Efficiency

Erin McDuff
Precision Prefinishing installed energy-efficient lighting at its Harrisburg facility with help from a USDA grant.

Precision Prefinishing may be a small business, but it needs a large space to conduct its work of custom finishing panels for cabinets, siding, and other construction products. Its 130,000-square-foot facility in the rural town of Harrisburg in western Oregon was lit with florescent lights, which contributed to a costly electric bill.

When an electrician told them about a USDA Rural Development grant program to help small, rural businesses make energy efficiency improvements, they decided to apply.

"John Holman was a tremendous asset, very accessible, very helpful," said Precision Prefinishing President David Hartmeier about the Rural Development Energy Coordinator who processed their application.

This small, rural business received a nearly $15,500 grant through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The funding covered one quarter of the cost to replace all lights at the business with high output LEDs that include proximity sensors to ensure the lights turn off no one is using the space.

"We’re not a big business," said Hartmeier, "so knowing we were going to get that funding made it possible for us move forward."

With the new lights installed, Precision Prefinishing has reduced its energy consumption by about seven percent, which will have a significant impact on its utility bill. The company is expecting to save more than $9,250 a year on electricity, freeing up capital that can be invested in other aspects of this rural business.

Date of Obligation
Obligation Amount:
$15,489 grant
Date of Obligation:
Congressional District:
Representative DeFazio, District 4