At Kennections Hair Concepts on Route 1 in Lawrenceville, they’re feeling the sun’s rays no matter what temperature the thermometer reads. Kennections Hair Concepts recently installed a 31 kW solar energy system in an unused lot behind the salon. The move establishes Kennections Hair Concepts as the first hair salon in New Jersey to be 100% powered by solar energy.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the occasion in December of 2010, owner Kenneth Emma fittingly used his grandfather's 80-year-old barber shears to celebrate a new era of the family business. Serving the greater Mercer County area for the past two decades, Kennections now offers guilt-free beauty through environmentally responsible and sustainable energy use.
Kenneth Emma, president of Kennections Hair Concepts said the move was one he’d spent ample time researching but he soon learned he would able to start saving immediately after the installation was completed.
“My goal was to provide as much energy from the solar system as possible. It produces enough power to offset 100% of my salon’s electricity. The return on our investment was as compelling as the environmental impact.”
New Jersey homeowners and businesses like Kennections Hair Concepts have been able to secure low-cost energy through the installation of solar energy systems. The salon qualified for rebates to cover part of the cost of the system from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program. Federal grant, tax incentives and the estimated energy savings from the production of zero emission solar energy will also help fund the change.
A green business loan from PNC bank also offered discounted rates to Emma for environmentally friendly projects and provided the warm, fuzzy needed to outweigh the economic factors involved in converting from fossil fuel-based energy and other factors.
The electricity generated by the system is sufficient enough to power six average homes -- or this very busy, full service hair salon and will pay for itself over time. Dawn Solar Systems, Inc., based in Brentwood, New Hampshire installed the system.
"Basically, we're getting free electricity for 20 years," Emma said. It is projected that it will take about five years to recoup the initial investment through energy expense savings, and the equipment is under warranty for 25 years, though Vice President of Business Development for Dawn Solar Systems Cassandra Kling says that it "should last much longer."
Salon owner, Kenneth Emma added that he feels a great sense of pride about his business having a positive environmental impact and that his customers would be happy in the knowledge that every haircut they receive goes a little way toward helping the environment.
"Converting to solar power sets us apart from other salons," said Emma. "We expect a warm response from our clientele and are looking forward to the economic advantage this conversion is expected to provide.”
Mary Moscarello is a freelance writer, based in Clifton, New Jersey. She is Assistant Editor at Mindful Living NJ and writes about health, wellness, relationships and environmental issue