Kiss My Solar-Powered Face

A beauty products company goes green and saves money by leasing a solar power system

The Ulster County-based natural personal care products company Kiss My Face has taken its eco-friendly commitment to a new level, with what it claims is the largest solar-powered electrical system in the county. And they found a unique way to do it: by lease.

Project coordinator Naomi Aubain did the research and found that the company’s offices and warehouse needed “lots of electricity — we’re talking big numbers.” Too big, in fact, to make purchasing a system feasible. With the help of Hudson Valley Clean Energy, she came across a California company that leases solar panels. That made the numbers work. KMF signed a 10-year lease on 268 solar panels, which offset the energy produced by 3,158 gallons of crude oil and saves 23.4 tons of CO2 greenhouse gases from being emitted per year. It also saves the company money. “From March through May 2009, we saved over $2,000 in electric costs from last year, which nets to about $600 after the cost of the lease,” Aubain says.

KMF has other environmental initiatives in the works, including product displays made of recycled and reused materials, reduced plastic packaging, and new energy-efficient lights in the warehouse. But the solar panels have everyone in the company excited, including the big boss.

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“Naomi and I run out and read the electric meters every day,” laughs CEO Bob MacLeod.


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