Energy-efficient alterations reaping rewards for Ascena

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Presenting a check for $106,000 to Ascena Retail Group officials in Greencastle earlier this week are (from left) Matt Itce of Energizing Indiana, Jeff Honaker of Duke Energy and Jay Boser of Energizing Indiana, while receiving the lottery winning-size check are Tim Gould, Kerry Shepherd and Bruce Wong of Ascena (formerly F.B. Distro/Charming Shoppes).

Ascena Retail Group's Indiana ecommerce fulfillment center -- known as GC Fulfillment LLC -- has earned a $106,000 rebate check from Energizing Indiana and Duke Energy.

The rebate is a direct result of lighting improvements that will reduce energy use at the company's 972,000-square-foot facility.

The installation of 1,653 T5 high-bay and T8 fixtures with motion sensors will save the company $56,584 in electric energy costs annually and reduce its energy consumption by more than 405,079 kWh per year, officials said.

"We've upgraded all the lighting in the facility as we transitioned from a retail store distribution center to a national ecommerce fulfillment center," Larry Moore, DC Operations for Ascena, explained.

"We needed better lighting and wanted to make it as energy efficient as possible," Moore added. "We are very excited for the brighter working conditions for our employees and the on-demand features of the new lighting for our facility."

Ascena Retail Group Inc. -- formerly F.B. Distro/Charming Shoppes -- is a leading specialty retailer of apparel for women and tween girls. The company operates through its subsidiaries approximately 3,900 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

The Greencastle ecommerce fulfillment center employs 193 associates at a 126-acre campus along State Road 240 in the one-time IBM Corp. facility.

"Since the early 1990s we've offered business and industry rebates to help offset the initial cost of energy efficiency investments," Duke Energy account manager Jeff Honaker said. "We are glad to partner with Ascena on programs that fit their needs."

In September 2013, Heartland Automotive in Greencastle became the first local company to benefit from the energy-savings program, receiving a check for $79,775 from Energizing Indiana and Duke Energy.

Other Hoosier facility managers and business owners also have the potential to achieve long-term, cost-effective energy savings with the help of significant rebates from Energizing Indiana, officials noted.

Rebates are provided based on the installation of energy-efficiency equipment and system improvements. Upgrades can include lighting, variable frequency drives, HVAC and efficient Energy Star commercial kitchen appliances.

"With the C&I Prescriptive Rebate Program, Energizing Indiana aims to lower electric energy consumption and decrease overall energy costs in Indiana's commercial facilities, as well as to encourage vendors and contractors to actively promote and install energy-efficient technologies for their customers," Bob Nuss, managing director of Energizing Indiana, said.

"Business owners and facility managers have the potential for huge savings by taking advantage of these rebates," Nuss added. "Plus, it's the environmentally responsible thing to do."

Energizing Indiana also provides a network of HVAC, lighting and appliance suppliers and electrical contractors to work with facility managers to meet their energy-saving needs. That network can be accessed at

To learn more or to get an application, business owners and facility managers should visit and click on the "Programs" tab and then the "Commercial and Industrial Prescriptive Rebates" link or call 1-888-446-7750.

Energizing Indiana is a united effort by the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, participating utilities and consumer organizations to offer comprehensive statewide energy efficiency programs.

The Energizing Indiana initiative began Jan. 2, 2012 and was created to help utilities achieve the significant energy savings required by an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission order. Energizing Indiana programs are funded by utility rates, and there are no separate fees to participate.

Energizing Indiana programs include Home Energy Assessments, lighting discounts, and rebates for commercial and industrial properties, income-qualified weatherization and educational programs for schools.

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