Charter Manufacturing Advances Energy Efficiency with Women-Led Management and Innovation Awards
Saukville, Wis. – A long-time FOCUS ON ENERGY® participant and energy efficiency leader, Charter Manufacturing is one of the most progressive companies in Wisconsin when it comes to energy management. Led by Director of Energy Tari Emerson and Energy Project Engineer Katie Dimmer, Charter Manufacturing is the first steel mill in the country to achieve certification to the international ISO 50001 energy management standard.
The company has completed numerous projects with Focus on Energy over the last six years, improving energy efficiency in areas such as lighting, pumps, motors and drives, and chillers. And it’s not done yet.
"Employee engagement is key to our energy management system," said Emerson. "You can invest in great equipment and have state of the art controls, but it always comes down to how employees actually use the energy resource."
Charter Manufacturing worked with Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program, through the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Leaders program. Focus on Energy provided SEM Leaders participants with technical, managerial and financial support for applying continuous improvement principles and practices to energy management.
In close collaboration with Tim Dantoin, an Energy Advisor from Focus on Energy, and We Energies, Charter Manufacturing earned 50001 Ready recognition for its Saukville, Wisconsin plant. The steel manufacturer also achieved ISO 50001 certification for its strong commitment to making energy-saving advancements in addition to winning an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from Focus on Energy in 2018.
Furthermore, in 2020, the United States Department of Energy announced its 2020 winners of the Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) Prize. One of the eight recipients selected was Jeff Foyen of Charter Manufacturing.
The ITEAM Prize recognizes individuals who have progressed ideas and practices that resulted in measurable energy savings for facilities within the manufacturing industry. Foyen was honored for his impressive work to continuously improve Charter Manufacturing’s energy management culture, leading to energy savings of 81,000 MMBtu, about 6% of the company’s total energy use.
"We've got great employees with great ideas about how to improve the efficiency of our energy use," said Dimmer. "This is a technically challenging field but the chance to work with people to implement better processes is also really rewarding," she added.
Focus on Energy partners with 107 utilities across the state to offer Wisconsin residents and businesses energy expertise and financial incentives to reduce energy waste.
A federal study completed in 2018 by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab 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.