Sunshine Laundry Convenience Store Co., Ltd.

Electrical Equipment Helps Laundries Achieve Cost Savings

As market competition grows ever stronger, a wide range of businesses including laundries are faced with increased cost pressure. To increase revenue and cut cost, many laundries have adopted the recommendations and assistance of the CLP GREENPLUS programme. By adopting electric washing and drying equipment, such businesses not only can reduce operating costs and improve energy efficiency, but also provide their employees with a safer and healthier working environment.

With 60 shops in Hong Kong and a 15,000 square-feet workshop, Sunshine Laundry Convenience Store Co., Ltd. as early as 2006 and 2007, in the face of rapidly increasing energy cost, aimed to mitigate such impact to its business by introducing electric washing and drying equipment, and other energy-saving measures into its day-to-day operations.

"Previously, our washing and drying equipment primarily used gas or other fuels as their energy sources. Yet the prices of such fuel became more volatile from 2006 to 2007 and even resulted in an increase of 10-15% per month, which put heavy pressure on our operating expenses," said Mr. Ringo Wong, Managing Director of Sunshine Laundry Convenience Store Co. Ltd.. He actively sought solutions, and with CLP's assistance, Wong learned the advantages of electrical equipment.

Simple implementation and operation of new equipment

"At present, in our shops, we have converted about two-thirds of our dryers to electrical ones and in our workshop, 13 dryers are powered by electricity," Ringo Wong said. Following the replacement with electric dryers, energy efficiency improved through reduced consumption of energy while energy costs also dropped.

With nearly 20 years in the laundry sector, Wong pointed out that electric clothes dryers provide excellent energy efficiency and drying speed, with their drying principle making clothes softer and more comfortable. In addition, since the electric clothes dryers do not burn gas, the working environment has become quieter, cooler and safer while operation and maintenance are very convenient. "Compared to traditional dryers, the electric dryers are more popular among our staff, and thus we have adopted electrical equipment in all the stores recently opened, including the one on Sai Yee Street in Mong Kok," Wong said.

In fact, in addition to adopting electric dryers, the company has also implemented a number of energy-saving measures in its shops, including the use of T5 energy-efficient fluorescent tubes and LEDs. In recent years, the company has expanded in the self-service laundry business with the establishment of eight 24-hour laundromats in Hong Kong. By taking advantage of CLP's non-peak hour rates, Sunshine has not only cut its operating costs, but also successfully attracted customers who prefer to use laundromats. The move has actually brought in new revenue while cutting cost.   

Green Hill Laundry

 A 10% drop in monthly expenditures and reduction in operating costs

At the Green Hill Laundry Pro Shop established in 2009, CLP also proposed to replace traditional gas dryers with electric clothes dryers, thereby successfully reducing energy costs. Mr. Raymond Ma, Customer Services Manager of Green Hill Laundry Pro Shop, noted that in terms of laundry by pound, for example, by using electric clothes dryers, the company saved approximately 10% in monthly energy expenses. "This saved resources, which allowed us to cover spending in other areas," he said.

Ma explained that an electric clothes dryer directly dries clothes with the heat generated by the heating element. Compared with a conventional gas dryer, such process is simple, direct and safe. Moreover, the remaining heat in the dryer allows clothes to be dried at a relatively low temperature, which also indirectly improves energy efficiency.

"An electric clothes dryer doesn't burn gas, so the indoor temperature is relatively lower, while the indoor air stays fresh, allowing employees to work in a safer, healthier environment," Ma said. He added that the process of replacing old equipment with electric clothes dryers is simple and quick. "As connection to internal ventilation is not needed, installation is more flexible. All you need is a stable supply of electricity," he stated.

More comprehensive functionality, greater durability, increased savings

Currently, the Green Hill Laundry is running three electric dryers that provide more comprehensive functionality compared with gas dryers. Ma noted that the equipment replacement has contributed to operating cost savings as well as enhancement on work efficiency. "In general, the components of the electric clothes dryers are simpler than those in gas dryers, and failure rates are comparatively lower. Repairs can be handled by qualified electrical technicians, which is more convenient and faster than waiting for a gas supplier to send maintenance staff," Ma said.

Ma said with a smile that in the future, the company will first consider electric clothes dryers when they plan to add new equipment. In fact, through the energy-audit service provided by CLP, the company has not only switched to electric dryers, but also converted to adopt a lighting system that utilises energy-efficient T5 fluorescent tubes and LED bulbs. "The equipment saves energy and is more durable, hence effectively reducing the energy costs of the company," Ma said.

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