Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

Hurd Gets Wisconsin Rebate for Energy-Efficiency Upgrade

posted by William R. Stott
Published: October 28, 2009

Hurd's Medford, WI wood, window and door manufacturing facility was recently recognized by the Wisconsin Focus on Energy program for its energy saving initiative that included all-new energy-efficient lighting fixtures. The program presented Hurd with a rebate incentive check on Tuesday, October 20.

As part of the company's current multi-million dollar renovation project, Hurd's Electrical Technician Andy Westphal was given the task of dramatically decreasing electricity consumption. To do so, Westphal and a team of associates along with Faith Technologies and Wausau, WI based ETCO Electrical Supply replaced all existing 400 watt metal halide fixtures with highly energy efficient T8 6 lamp fluorescent fixtures. The new fixtures use only 224 watts, which reduces electrical consumption by nearly 45% in each application. They didn't stop there either. The company also turned to occupancy sensors to control the new fixtures. Instead of traditional light switches that manually turned on and off all lighting for an entire building - which then remained on all day or maybe even all night - new occupancy sensors detect motion and provide centralized lighting as needed or shut off when employees are not in a work area. This compounded the company's savings.

According to Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager Rob Seidel, "It was an easy decision to make a significant investment in reducing our energy consumption. It is more earth-friendly, employee-friendly, and pocketbook-friendly. It all adds up to a win-win for everyone."

Echoing Seidel, Vice President of Administration Scott Albers cites that the new lighting has dramatically improved the working environment for Hurd associates. He said working in a bright clean atmosphere makes a difference in the wood windows and doors we make and the attitudes of our associates. Albers likened it to the feeling you have on an invigorating sunshine filled day versus days of overcast skies.

Hurd's lighting upgrade was made easier with the support of Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program, which provided a rebate incentive per fixture replaced. Focus on Energy's efforts helped Hurd, as it does for many Wisconsin residents and businesses, manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control the state's growing demand for electricity and natural gas.