Franklin Health & Fitness (FHF), Macon County’s premier fitness center since 1988, offers many services to its members. From over 70 group classes, to top of the line fitness equipment, to a heated indoor pool, FHF truly offers something for everyone. In 2015, Rodney Morris, owner of FHF, wanted to provide something more for his customers- an environmentally responsible fitness center. Changes had already begun within the center to become more environmentally responsible in years prior but one thing still was out of place. “Our power bill was getting to be extremely high,” said Morris. “We really just needed to find a better alternative to provide power throughout our facility.” According to Morris, FHF’s building was purchased through a USDA Rural Development Program. Through this program, Morris learned about the REAP Energy Grant Program. After completing the application process, Morris received (get dollar amount from Alex) in REAP Grant funds to help with the cost of installing an 18.56 KW (kilowatt) solar energy system at the facility.
In 2018, FHF is benefitting greatly from the solar energy system that was installed three years ago. “We are so happy we were able to find out about the REAP Energy Grant Program,” said Morris. “This system provides power and lighting for our building as well as other things like the heater for our indoor pool.” Since the system was installed in 2015, FHF has saved $7,818 in energy expenses and the system has produced 78.19 MWh (megawatt hours) in solar energy. In addition to converting to solar, FHF also has installed ZeroFlush urinals to save water, energy efficient hand dryers, and has traded plastic cups for biodegradable cups at the smoothie bar to become more environmentally friendly. “Our whole experience throughout the application process was phenomenal,” said Morris. “Haynes Energy Solutions also did a wonderful job installing the system and educating us about the ways to monitor how our system is doing.”