What's happening in North Branch

Lighting bonus rebate sparks efficiency efforts

NB_T12When Jennings, DeWan & Anderson, LLC  learned that North Branch Municipal Water and Light was offering a bonus lighting rebate, they jumped at the opportunity to upgrade their building’s outdated, less efficient lighting. By taking advantage of the utility’s standard lighting rebate coupled with the bonus, they were able to reclaim nearly a third of the total project cost for the T12 to T8 retrofit while saving money and energy with the new equipment.

“We have been thinking about upgrading our lighting for awhile,” Mr. DeWan said. “When we heard that we could get a bonus rebate on top of the standard utility rebate, we realized the timing was right for us to move ahead with this project.”

Fluorescent lamps are measured in eighths of an inch.  The “T” number is the diameter of the lamp.  So a T12 lamp is 1.5 inches in diameter, while a T8 lamp is 1 inch.  The narrower the fluorescent lamp, the more energy-efficient it is.

T8 and T5 fluorescents are longer lasting, have better light quality, and can reduce lighting costs by up to 45 percent, with attractive 1-3 year simple paybacks for the building owner.  In fact, some T8 fixtures are rated to last up to 4,000 hours longer than T12s – nearly two years longer for a typical office. 

The U.S. Department of Energy is prohibiting the manufacture of most T12 fluorescent lamps starting this July. 

Energy Savings - More than just blowing air

CHP big checkThis summer Custom Headed Products (CHP) was interested in updating their old compressed air system.

“We contacted North Branch Water and Light for assistance,” said Keith DauSchmidt, CEO of CHP. “We were impressed with the simplicity, ease, and impact the rebate program had on our investment. The net cost of our investment will easily beat our goals for return on capital.”

CHP removed two existing air-compressors (50 hp and 25 hp) and a re-directional fan system. In its place, CHP installed an energy-efficient rotary screw air compressor controlled by a variable speed drive.  The new system increased capacity, allowed for the removal of the existing fan system, and reduced their compressed air costs by about 30%. For their efforts, North Branch Water and Light provided CHP with a rebate of about $1,800.

“North Branch Water and Light is committed to helping our customers save money and use energy wisely,” says Russell Good, General Manager of North Branch Water and Light.  “We work with our businesses to reduce their costs and help them become more competitive.  Most businesses think only of our lighting rebates, but we have a large suite of rebates that include cooling equipment, motors, and, as in this case, air compression and variable speed drives.” 

A partnership that works

A couple of months ago Branch Manufacturing Company was looking to replace an existing 100 horsepower motor on a machine press. "We contacted North Branch Water and Light to see how they could help us," said Delmer Fairbanks, President of Branch Manufacturing. "They provided us with a rebate of $450 to help offset the purchase."

By selecting an efficiency of 95.4%, the motor upgrade is estimated to reduce Branch Manufacturing's electric load by 1.7 kilowatts and save over 3,500 kWhs per year.

"North Branch Water and Light is committed to working with our customers to help them save money and use energy wisely," says Russell Good, General Manager of North Branch Water and Light. "We are here to work with our customers. Most businesses think only of our lighting rebates, but we also assist customers with cooling equipment, variable speed drives, and, as in this case, premium efficiency motors."