Salt Lake City—As Utah’s thriving industrial sector continues to provide jobs and economic growth to the state, many companies are striving to maximize energy efficiency to conserve resources and reduce their operating costs. In recognition of leading energy savings efforts, four companies were honored Wednesday as part of the annual Utah Industrial Energy Efficiency Challenge.
The Challenge, which is managed by Utah Clean Energy in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development and the University of Utah’s Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center, was an opportunity to recognize industrial leaders for the fifth consecutive year.
“We are proud to honor four Utah businesses whose leading efforts are advancing innovation and transforming our industrial buildings,” said Dr. Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. “By implementing cost-effective energy upgrades, these businesses are reducing their operational costs, while also improving reliability and air quality along the Wasatch Front.”
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Utah’s industrial sector consumes almost 30 percent of the state’s energy. By implementing energy efficiency projects, these four award-winning businesses have saved more than 18 million kilowatt hours of electricity and $3.6 million dollars per year, which is equivalent to powering 2,200 Utah homes for one year.
“Energy efficiency is a win-win for the state of Utah,” said Kevin Emerson, Energy Efficiency Program Director for Utah Clean Energy. “There is a huge potential among large companies in the state to save energy and reduce consumption of natural resources through investing in energy efficiency. In addition to realizing a great return on investment, energy efficiency projects also reduce pollution emitted from energy consumption. It’s exciting to see the breadth of companies become efficiency leaders.”
Dr. Kody Powell, Director of the Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center whose new Center participated in hosting the awards event said “Industrial processes are typically energy intensive and there is a ton of opportunity to reduce energy usage and cost for Utah manufacturers. Because manufacturers work so hard to create quality, low cost products, energy usage is something that often gets overlooked. Today’s award winners show what’s possible when industrial companies commit to energy efficiency.” He continued “our Center assists companies that don’t have internal resources to analyze how they’re using energy and then implement energy-saving strategies, which can have a big impact on the environment and on manufacturers’ bottom line.”
The 2017 Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award winners are:
- Bowie Resources, which operates the Sufco mine in Sevier County, Utah, has been in operation since 1941. The company implemented a mine fan recommissioning project in 2016, which reduced electricity consumption by 2.5 million kilowatt hours annually. The facility also regularly monitors its electricity consumption through Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Profiler program. In addition, Sufco uses equipment that reduces energy consumption, such as variable frequency drives and LED lighting and seeks to reduce electricity consumption during peak hours by controlling production schedules.
- Frito-Lay, Inc. manufactures, markets, and sells corn chips, potato chips, and other snack foods world-wide. The company has specific energy savings goals and policies in place that directs their energy upgrades at its West Valley City facility. In 2016, Frito-Lay upgraded from fluorescent to LED lighting, and implemented an energy management system that controls their HVAC throughout all of their processing, packaging, and warehouse operations. These efficiency investments save nearly 700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity on an annual basis. In addition, the company has a department at their corporate office dedicated to assisting each plant with sustainability and ongoing energy reduction efforts.
- Hill Air Force Base, located near Clearfield, Utah completed over 50 energy savings projects in 2016. These projects varied in size and scope, and included building recommissioning 15 LED lighting projects, chiller replacements, variable frequency drives installations, a net zero energy building, and other energy efficient upgrades. In total, the projects saved over 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Hill Air Force Base also provides outreach and training programs that engage supervisors, employees, commanders, and building managers. The Base uses an internal energy tracking system to ensure it meets its yearly energy conservation goals.
- Houweling’s Group is a grower and marketer of year-round greenhouse-grown tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers with a farm in Mona Utah, as well as operations in California and British Columbia. In 2016, Houweling’s implemented an innovative proprietary heat and CO2 capture system for the redistribution of waste energy in year-round greenhouse tomato farming. This system replaces the requirement for propane fueled boilers to provide required heat and CO2. The company also installed state of the art, energy efficient technologies throughout the operation, including over 15,000 energy-efficient grow lights, 600 variable speed fan motors, and motion sensors to activate and shut off overhead lighting. These efficiency projects reduce on-site electricity consumption by nearly 12 million kilowatt hours annually.
The Utah Industrial Energy Efficiency Challenge is a voluntary program, established in 2010, that encourages new and ongoing investment in energy efficiency by Utah manufacturing and industrial companies. The two-part Challenge includes peer-to-peer networking workshops and technical trainings, followed by public recognition of leading industrial firms. The Challenge is supported by the United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.