Joining a prominent list of customers such as Bank of America, Coca-Cola, E-Bay, FedEx, Google, Staples and Wal-Mart, insurance company Fireman’s Fund will install six high-tech fuel cells from Bloom Energy technology at its Novato, Calif., site. The technology will allow the insurance company to produce 60% of its energy needs for that location, reducing the firm’s carbon footprint by 15%, according to the North Bay Business Journal.
The “Bloom boxes,” the informal name of Bloom’s Energy Servers, which turn fuel into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process, will cost the insurance company about $5 million, an expense that is expected to be offset by tax credits and lower energy bills.
Of the initial $5 million investment $3 million will be covered by state incentives for self generation and with federal credits of about 30% for installation.
“The efficiency of the Bloom fuel cell gets us off the grid more effectively and with a much smaller footprint than solar. If we covered the entire parking lot with panels we’d still realize only 10 percent of the energy savings,” Michael LaRocco, president and CEO said in the statement. “This solution is not only good for the environment, but it makes economic sense.”
Fireman’s Fund, the first carrier to widely introduce green insurance to the U.S. commercial market also offers to coverage to green homes, vehicles and vessels as well as green energy equipment, according to its website.
According to the report, the company aims to reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2012. Its efforts to cut energy use include such milestones as attaining an Energy Star rating of 92 at its Novato headquarters as well as LEED certification at that location and others.