Furniture Store Goes Green

Increasingly in Connecticut, doing business and going green are two practices that are intermingling.

Evidence of that relationship is clear at the new Pilgrim Furniture store in Milford.

"When we started to think about a new store we wanted to do something that would really differentiate us from the competition," said Amy Albert, of Pilgrim Furniture.

The Milford store is 80,000 square feet is powered by solar panels.  The company received a $1.4 million grant from the state’s clean energy fund to help finance the project.

"They generate 50-80% of the energy we use in the show room so really great way," said Albert.

The 1,100 panels reside on the roof of the store.  Since the store opened in October, the panels have produced a lot of energy.

"To date, we have done the equivalent of planting 2,700 trees and the equivalent of taking a car off the road for over 200,00 miles," Albert said.

On days when the panels produce more power than the store needs, the energy goes back to the grid where its purchased by the energy company.

Pilgrim Furniture, a local company started in 1961, also maintained the integrity of the building housing its new store.  The concrete floors were rehabbed and kept in place in the once industrial building.

The store also opted for energy efficient heating and lighting to as part of its green initiative.

"We wanted to give back to the community.  We wanted to decrease our dependency on foreign oil.  We just really wanted to move forward and be forward thinking and help out because everybody has to do their part," Albert said.

Customers can witness the process by viewing a monitor in the showroom that calculates the amount of energy generated daily and year to date.

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