Energy Efficiency Keeps Gardner at Forefront of Metalworking
Horicon, WI – Gardner Manufacturing has been making metalwork since 1928 and employs the latest technologies to stay at the top of the industry, including advancements in energy efficiency.
A Certified Minority-Owned Business, Gardner fabricates carbon, structural and galvanized steel, as well as aluminum product assemblies for major industries. And that kind of metal fabricating creates a heavy demand for energy at the company’s 160,000-square-foot facility in Horicon.
“The electrical power issues came up as insufficient available power when installing additional equipment,” said Ed Hewitt, purchasing manager. “And for natural gas, demand and cost is extremely high during the winter months.”
Gardner has good working relationships with its electrical and HVAC contractors, and it was one of those contractors that approached Focus on Energy with a prospective project at Gardner and sought financial incentives for the company to move forward with energy efficiency projects. Because of the price tag, Gardner needed additional funding and an engineering analysis to justify the additional cost.
“The overall energy savings are often an eye opener and the incentives can be very substantial,” Ed explained. “Knowing that incentives are frequently available will generally have us take a closer look at more expensive equipment that can provide improved energy efficiencies, even though there are greater upfront costs.”
Working with Brendan Danielson, energy auditor with Focus on Energy, has literally shed light on additional efficiency opportunities at Gardner.
“One recent project for us was the addition of a new batch powder coating spray booth,” Ed noted. “We focused on the facility air/heating requirements for the incentive, but we never thought about booth lighting. That came up during the audit.”
According to Danielson, the initial outreach to the Focus on Energy program from one of Gardner’s contractors, which happened to be a Focus on Energy Trade Ally, set things in motion for the powder booth, which was also available for a financial incentive.
“During discussions, I provided energy and cost-savings calculations as part of my recommendation to replace the booth’s fluorescent lamps with LED,” Danielson said. “They also asked about incentive availability for a compressed air system upgrade, which was recently completed and is currently being processed by Focus on Energy.”
The mission of Focus on Energy is to empower the people and businesses of Wisconsin to make smart energy decisions with enduring economic benefits. As Danielson notes, “It’s important that manufacturers understand they pay into the Focus on Energy programs through their energy bills and they can recuperate that money, and more, through participation in the program. Energy efficiency can have secondary benefits, including improvements to safety, quality, and productivity.
“Focus on Energy wants to maximize the customer’s benefit and see them succeed. Energy audits can reveal sources of waste that may not have been understood and can even result in zero-cost measures to improve efficiency. And Focus on Energy can really bring decision-makers to the table by showing the value of energy efficiency, and by bringing down the initial cost and payback for projects.”
Certification to ISO 9001:2015 speaks to Gardner Manufacturing’s commitment to meeting and exceeding the strictest of quality requirements and specifications. Gardner is also committed to building on its past successes in an ongoing effort to reduce energy usage. The company is projected to save over $24K in energy costs this year; and earn incentives of more than $33,000 from Focus on Energy.
“Working with Focus on Energy can help identify areas of energy savings that one may never anticipate,” Ed said. “The incentives can be very significant.”
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 focusonenergy.com.