Dale Moore, owner of 10th Avenue Hair Designs, and Keith Swilley, Energy Sales & Efficiency manager at Gulf Power, have been friends since high school, amounting to over 25 years of haircuts and conversation.

Keith Swilley, Energy Sales & Efficiency manager, and Dale Moore, owner of 10th Avenue Hair Designs, have been friends since high school, amounting to over 25 years of haircuts and conversation.

As one of Pensacola’s largest full-service salons, 10th Avenue Hair Designs continued to grow and evolve.

And so did the chats between Swilley and Moore, especially about the future of the salon. With 25-30 employed stylists, expansion and energy efficiency was at the top of Moore’s list.

It started with the basics.

“I knew with that many stylists,” explained Swilley, “that hot water was one of their largest energy component to his business operating costs.”

The salon had three existing gas water heaters in the attic, which served three hair wash stations each.

Taking the extreme temperatures of the attic into consideration, Swilley devised a plan.

“I had told Dale previously about the latest water heating equipment option – Integrated Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters,” said Swilley. “HPWHs use ambient surrounding air, usually operating on 40-100 degrees, to collect and gather heat to transfer and create heated water.

“It was perfect timing really. Since Dale was planning to foam seal the attic area where two of the water heaters were located, it made it ideal to install HPWHs because the attic temperatures are consistent and generally mild.”

Two years after this initial conversation discussing and educating one another on the water heating efficiency benefits, Moore decided to install two HPWHs in place of two existing gas water heaters.

“This was an easy decision to make,” he said. “I knew Keith wasn’t going to just sell me something, but that he actually cared about my business.”

After the installation, Moore agreed to allow Gulf Power to meter and monitor the energy consumption compared to that of the two new HPHWs and the remaining gas water heater.

And the data was impressive. So much that the 10th Avenue Hair Designs was awarded the Florida Public Service Commission’s Triple E Award – for Energy Efficiency Efforts in January.

The numbers showed that the HPWHs were three times more efficient than conventional gas, creating an annual savings of over 50 percent on their business water heating costs.

“My dad used to say ‘If you want something to heat up, you gotta put a fire under it’,” Moore said, “But now I clearly know that’s not the case.”

He is extremely pleased with the efficiency upgrade made to the salon, but even more so with Gulf Power and the service he received from Swilley.

“I knew I was in good hands,” Moore said, “Not only because Swilley is my friend, but also because Gulf Power had the research and resources to back him up.”

Swilley hopes that more customers look to Gulf Power for advice just like Moore.

“We’ve earned the ‘trusted energy adviser’ title. We strive for with all of our customer,” explained Swilley. “We want customers to call us before making energy upgrades. This gives us a chance, just like with Dale, to advise the owner and educate them on equipment efficiencies, installation and sizing considerations, and cost effectiveness of those choices. Whether residential or a commercial business, we want to build the customer’s awareness and help them make a better-informed decision that leads to better results.”