Looking for new ways to trim energy operating costs and increase the bottom line in your facility? Whether you’ve already made energy improvements or are just getting started, an energy assessment can help you determine the largest savings and decide where to focus. Available at no cost to eligible customers of participating utilities*, an energy assessment offers a quick overview of energy-using systems and potential energy waste in your facility—helping you decide how to use your resources cost-effectively.
Often times, it’s difficult to know just how much energy you’re overusing. Our Energy Trust of Oregon industrial energy experts tailor the assessment to your goals. We can meet with your facility personnel to assess energy use in one of your process lines, walk through your entire facility taking a broad look at all energy systems or find an approach somewhere in between.
When customizing your energy assessment, we’ll also discuss and consider factors such as:
- Your overall capital plan for the next one to five years
- Energy or production projects you’re thinking of implementing in the near future
- Your return on investment criteria
- If you’re operating out of your maintenance budget and need the assessment to emphasize low- and no-cost improvements
Because it’s tailored to your needs, an energy assessment can take as little as one hour or as long as one day. You’ll receive the results of your assessment almost immediately—either on the spot or via email within a day or two. Based on our discussions and your input, you’ll come away with a prioritized list of energy-saving opportunities that can improve your bottom line and makes sense for your business.
In addition to giving you a starting point for your energy-saving efforts, an energy assessment offers several other benefits, including:
- Giving plant personnel a chance to think about ways to cut energy use and share their ideas. It’s a great employee engagement tool.
- Reducing maintenance by identifying situations which cause excess wear and tear on equipment
- Identifying bottlenecks in your process, opening the door to improvements that can increase production and lower energy use
- Uncovering ways to save other resources such as water or raw materials
After your energy assessment, you can decide if you’d like to pursue a formal Technical Analysis Study on a particular project or area. This study is available free of charge, and delves deeper. For example, you might opt for a study on your compressed air system, where we examine everything from leaks to controls to a compressor upgrade. Our industrial energy experts are highly trained energy engineers with thousands of dollars worth of measurement and metering tools at their disposal. Why not put them to work in your facility free of charge?
Hundreds of Oregon manufacturing plants of all sizes have benefited from energy assessments. “We’re able to help just about any facility regardless of size,” said Eric Braddock, senior technical manager at Energy Trust.
“Small-to-medium plants often come away learning the most because they typically don’t have the same on-staff expertise as larger operations.”
Bierson Corporation, a Southern Oregon company, which manufactures decorative architectural components for offices, hospitals, retail and more, was eager to replace the older metal halide lights located throughout its 18,000 square foot manufacturing plant. According to Don Casebier, president, the lights were a hassle to manage. Slow to warm up and inflexible to schedule, the lights either kept crews waiting in the dark or wasted energy by burning longer than necessary.
With the help of Central Electric Lighting, Bierson invested in the latest energy efficient lighting technology to solve the problem. The company replaced outdated metal halide, fluorescent and T8s with four-foot TLEDs and LEDs, many of which are equipped with vacancy sensors. The upgrades are estimated to save the company $39,460 in annual energy costs.
“Now, we have greater control over manufacturing needs and schedules,” said Casebier. “Everywhere we go in the facility, lights turn on and off on-demand.” Cash incentives of $9,180 from Energy Trust covered nearly 50 percent of the project cost. “The incentive helped ease the financial risk and pressure for a business of our size,” Casebier said. “Coupled with the convenience of the new system, it was an easy decision to make.”
No matter where you are in your energy-saving journey, we encourage you to reach out to Energy Trust early. “Communication is key,” said Braddock. “We can provide the most technical and financial help when we get involved before too many decisions are made about a project.”
* Energy Trust services and cash incentives are available for customers served by Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista.