Florida Tile's Lawrenceburg, Ky., plant.

Florida Tile has been awarded $162,500 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) economic stimulus funding to replace old, inefficient lighting with advanced, energy-efficient fixtures at its manufacturing facility in Lawrenceburg, Ky. Florida Tile is one of four Kentucky companies to share grants totaling $787,000.

“Florida Tile is thrilled to have been selected to receive these funds,” said Richard Kincaid, director of logistics for Florida Tile. “The grant funds allow us to move forward on a project that is a key component of our ‘Florida Tile CARES’ Program. CARES stands for Creating A Responsible Environmental Strategy. Not only will we be able to significantly reduce our energy usage, we’ll also have a brighter workplace.”

Money from the U.S. Department of Energy, secured by the Kentucky Department for Energy Independence and the Cabinet for Economic Development, were earmarked for upgrading existing commercial facilities. Florida Tile will use the funds to replace lighting that is nearly 40 years old and currently using between 400 and 1,000 watts for each fixture. New energy-efficient fixtures will use only 200 watts, yet simultaneously produce more lumens, resulting in 30 percent fewer fixtures. Overall, the Florida Tile retrofit is expected to save 74 percent on lighting costs, the company said.

Two years ago, Florida Tile moved its manufacturing operation to Lawrenceburg, which now employs more than 150 workers. The modern porcelain and wall tile manufacturing facility is designed to be environmentally friendly, and features a large, three-stage ball mill (one of only three worldwide) to conserve energy.

According to a press statement from the office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, the grant funding is aimed at accelerating energy efficiency and renewable energy industrial projects for businesses locating or expanding operations in Kentucky that create or retain jobs, while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, the funding will help achieve the goals set by the governor’s “Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future: Kentucky’s 7-Point Energy Strategy.”

Companies were selected through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process, administered by the state’s Cabinet for Economic Development. The cabinet will provide 50 percent of the funds needed to complete the lighting upgrades and each company will provide the additional funding required to complete its project.