A simple phone call resulted in a major lighting project that is projected to save one Fitchburg manufacturer over $36,000 annually in energy savings.
Boutwell Owens, a major local manufacturing presence since the late 1800s, recently swapped out all of its fluorescent lighting for new energy efficient LED fixtures.
It was a routine customer care call from Unitil’s Gary Miller, senior business development executive, who suggested to Brian Jansson, director of finance for Boutwell Owens, that the company consider a comprehensive audit of all its lighting to see what qualified for energy efficiency rebates.
According to Jansson, Gary’s call came in right around the time they were working on landing a new customer that required food grade-quality lighting fixtures over the printing presses, at a steep cost of $58,000. “Gary shared with us that by expanding the scope of the lighting project, we would qualify for energy efficiency incentives,” said Jansson.
“Boutwell Owens was able to qualify for a rebate because the overall energy savings was now significant, which reduced the cost of the project to less than the original quote for just the specialty lighting,” Miller said.
The company, which specializes in making printed paperboard packaging, said it was about ten years ago that they participated in an energy efficiency project with Unitil. “The key is, they had never participated in this particular electric energy efficiency rebate program,” said Miller. He anticipates that the company will save 281,835 kWh in electricity annually. The overall project cost was $198,147. With an incentive from Unitil of $161,509, the net cost is $36,638, which shortens the payback to one year.
“What is great about this project is that we are using energy more efficiently, saving money and now have much brighter and clearer lighting, which is important to our employees and our industry,” said Jansson. “The best part is that Unitil does the majority of the work qualifying the project, so from start to finish it only took us four months.”