Weatherbury Farm B&B Captures Energy Star Award

Yellow Brick Road | January/February 2000

As reported in the Yellow Brick Road (Innsight for Aspiring Innkeepers)  January/February 2000:

“Weatherbury Farm Bed & Breakfast, a 100-acre family vacation spot, was honored for its success at making energy-saving improvements that protect the environment while cutting costs … actually reducing heating costs by 50 percent.

In winning EPA’s first ENERGY STAR® Small Business Award, a B&B on the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border has graphically demonstrated how environmental protection and corporate profit go hand in hand. “Weatherbury Farm recognizes that it can make a contribution to the environment and make a good business decision as well,’ said W. Michael McCabe, regional administrator of EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

Proprietor Marcy Tudor said energy efficient activities started the fist day her B&B first opened for business seven years ago. ‘One of the most important things we do is ask our guests to reuse towels and wash cloths which saves a lot of water and electricity,’ Tudor said.

The inn, which features activities for children on its working farm, is situated in a small community that does not have a recycling program. Tudor said guests are asked to recycle tin and glass which she then transports to West Virginia’s drop-off center.

Tudor expanded her energy efficient activities when she recently renovated the summer kitchen and house. The renovation project included insulation, window caulking, high efficiency heat pumps and water measures. The insulation alone cut Tudor’s heating bill in half, saving approximately $1,000 a year.

‘I’m an accountant and accountants are always looking for the most efficient ways of doing thing,’ Tudor said. ‘The payback was less than one year on our insulation. Altogether, Weatherbury Farm annually saves an estimated $2,000 a year and conserves 4,000 gallons of water.’

If you’re starting from scratch, you can build energy conservation into your inn. Buildings with large south-facing windows make the most of winter solar heat, saving expensive fuel for those in cold or temperate climates. Similarly, those in warm climates can shade hot summer sun by installing awnings or building deep overhangs on the south and west sides of buildings. Ceiling fans can be installed to improve air circulation throughout the year in low humidity areas.

To avoid problems with moisture retention, look out for leaky roofs, insufficient grading close to damp soil and indications of mold or mildew. Remedies include good ventilation anywhere moisture is generated.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program has always recognized large corporations for their energy-efficient activities. But
‘It’s important that we do all we can to encourage small businesses to take advantage of these programs,’ McCabe said. ‘As more business people become aware of the effective and efficient way they can protect the environment, they will also become aware that it is good for their bottom line.’

EPA offer 21 voluntary partnership programs designed to prevent pollution and save money. Nationally, 7.427 business saved themselves a total of $3.3 billion; reduced waste by 7.8 million tons; prevented 80 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions; and save $1.8 billion gallons of water — the emissions reductions alone are the equivalent of taking 65 million cars off the road.

(For more on how specific energy-saving projects can save money for bed and breakfast innkeepers ,,,and sometimes qualify for reduced energy bills or construction grants, see Yellow Brick Road, July-August 1998, Energy-Efficiency Pays Off for Texas Innkeeper.)

Resources: Marcy Tudor, Weatherbury Farm, 1061 Sugar Run, Avella, PA 15312, 724/587-3763.”