The world’s largest laundromat happens to be in Chicago. Well, a suburb of Chicago. And even though it may only be arguably the biggest, since one in Denver claims to have a few more washers and dryers, it certainly is the most unique. You see, Tom Benson’s “World’s Largest Laundromat” happens to be powered by solar energy. That’s right, the 61-year-old man climbed a ladder to his roof which boasted a total of 36 10-by-4 foot solar panels that power the 153 washers, 148 dryers, and 15 flat-screen TVs.
Not only is it one of the only laundromats to use solar energy, but it’s also one of the most cost-effective solar systems in the nation. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn praised the Chicago laundromat as being a role model for the rest of the world. Environmentalists love the laundromat as much as Benson does.
It happened to come about like this: Benson’s heating bills were a towering $13,000 which was about 25 percent of his monthly revenue. He knew he needed to do something to stay in business. When he looked at other energy sources, he realized that the government was giving grants to pay for 50 percent of solar systems. Then he set it all up in less than a month and he was back in business.
He claims that the technology is laughably easy to maintain and he doesn’t understand why more people don’t embrace. He said, “None of my competitors within a several mile radius are doing this. It’s a shame.”