Arbor Vitae, Wis. – Pukall Lumber Company, a family-owned sawmill in northern Wisconsin, has been working with FOCUS ON ENERGY® since 2002 to gradually make energy-efficient upgrades to its facility in Arbor Vitae. After completing over 15 energy-saving projects throughout that time, the company is being honored with a 2020 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Focus on Energy throughout the years,” said the company President, Rick Wilson. “The projects assisted Pukall Lumber in becoming more energy efficient, which saved money and reduced our use of valuable energy resources for our community.”
The award, presented in partnership with Pukall’s utility provider, WPS, honors Focus on Energy customers who have shown a commitment to leading in energy efficiency. The sawmill’s most recently completed project consisted of consolidating several of its dust collectors, allowing them to remove 108 horsepower (HP) motors from the facility. The project will save Pukall $22,600 in energy costs annually.
Pukall was one of the first sawmills in Wisconsin to convert to an energy-efficient hydraulic saw carriage unit from a pneumatic air-driven unit. This switch reduced the company’s overall energy use by over 70 HP. Other past projects Pukall has completed with Focus on Energy include upgrading to LED lighting throughout its Arbor Vitae, Manitowish Waters, Woodruff and Minocqua facilities and installing variable frequency drives to its wood drying kilns to better control the energy use and save on energy costs.
“As a small family business in a capital-intensive industry, the Focus on Energy partnership assisted us in making efficiency upgrades that keep our products competitively priced,” Wilson said.
Pukall has worked closely with its Energy Advisor from Focus on Energy, Kelly Kavanaugh, along with several local Trade Ally contractors to complete these energy-saving projects. The energy efficiency upgrades help bolster the local economy and establish the sawmill as a trusted and valued member of the region.
“Pukall Lumber is an integral part of the Northwoods,” said Wilson. “We employ over 100 people in our operations and spend millions of dollars in our community for logs, supplies and other services. The company has grown quite a bit since 2002 when we first started to partner with Focus on Energy. We are grateful for the willingness of the Focus on Energy professionals to create custom incentives that contributed to Pukall Lumber’s success story.”
This year, Pukall plans to participate in the Rural Industrial Staffing Incentive to complete several more energy-saving projects. The company hopes to save an additional 150 HP by improving the efficiency of its processing equipment.
Pukall is also preparing to expand the production facility at its Arbor Vitae mill, guaranteeing the business will continue to serve northern Wisconsin with quality wood-building materials and advance its ongoing commitment to reducing energy waste long into the future.
Focus on Energy is working with utility companies across the state throughout September and October to present Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards to 14 outstanding businesses.
Focus on Energy partners with 107 utilities across the state to offer energy expertise and financial incentives to residents and businesses that choose to reduce energy waste. A third-party evaluation last year revealed Wisconsin runs the most cost-effective energy efficiency programs in the nation, in terms of energy savings per dollar spent. A separate evaluation released this year found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates $4.80 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs and reduced pollution.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.