The Pueblo manufacturing companies that create everything from concrete railroad ties to bricks to tiny homes have learned how to save thousands of dollars in energy costs through a free program from the Colorado Energy Office.
The Strategic Industrial Energy Management program is a one-year class that runs in different parts of the state every year. This year, the manufacturing companies of Pueblo, Vossloh, a manufacturer of concrete railroad ties that draw power from San Isabel Electric; Top brick; and indieDwell in Black Hills Energy territory; participated in the virtual class.
The program provides persistent energy savings without the need for large capital improvement projects. Wil Mannes of the Colorado Energy office said industrial-grade in-depth energy audits can cost anywhere from $ 50,000 to $ 100,000, so having a “back to basics” chance for free energy pointers is a big deal. boost.
“This approach is spread over a year and we are just building an energy base,” Mannes explained. “We get a basic reading, then incorporate new policies.”
Workers are discovering energy efficiency opportunities in day-to-day operations that are designed to help businesses save money on electricity bills. When the program is over, workers are left with a playbook that gives them different ideas for saving energy “without costing a fortune,” Mannes said.
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For example, employees are given advice on how to use air compressors more efficiently. Companies can also label equipment with suggestions on when to turn each room off and on to optimize energy efficiency, said Genevive London, energy coach at Stillwater Energy, a company responsible for managing the program for the state.
“What we learned, we presented to our teammates on how they can save energy at home and at work. It’s a great program and we’ve learned a lot, ”said Lisa Perri, office manager of indieDwell.
For example, by checking kilowatt monitors at the library, team members could plug in different items to monitor how much energy each is using. They learned tricks like unplugging computers when not at home to save electricity, Perri said.
By installing energy efficient light sensors and LED bulbs, indieDwell secured $ 13,481 in rebates from Black Hills. Staff at the cottage builder also programmed new air compressors to turn off after shifts and added window coverings to the east sides of the desks to help block out sunlight. summer.
Staff are also working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are committed to recycling instead of throwing waste in the landfill.
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Vossloh workers also switched to LED lighting and reported a 75% savings in energy costs which amounted to $ 9,198 per year. Vossloh staff also replaced four air compressors, which avoided the need to rent diesel air compressors and reduced energy consumption, saving the plant about $ 86,300 per year.
To make sure businesses stay on track, staff receive monthly coaching calls to resolve issues or obstacles and quarterly workshops help them collaborate on lessons learned.