Green Bay, Wis. – A Wisconsin company’s commitment to saving its customers energy and money earned it an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from FOCUS ON ENERGY® on Tuesday.
“SES Group was an easy choice for me when I was asked to nominate someone for the Energy Efficiency Excellence Award. They’re an exemplary proponent of our program,” said Brendan Danielson, an Energy Advisor with Focus on Energy who works with SES Group.
SES Group, Inc. designs and implements solutions for HVAC and indoor air quality at commercial and industrial facilities. As a Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor, SES has proactively and effectively leveraged the expertise and financial incentives available through Focus on Energy to provide cost-effective and energy-efficient options for its customers.
President and founder Larry Sabel said, due to the nature of HVAC work and the costs involved, a lot of contractors tend to offer their customers the least-expensive option available.
“We kind of take the other approach. We can provide that [inexpensive option], but we do present the other [more expensive but more energy-efficient] options. We actually provide an energy savings analysis and a typical Focus [on Energy] incentive and present that to our customers. It helps get the ball rolling.”
That was the case at Valley Cabinet in De Pere, where Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Chairwoman Rebecca Cameron Valcq honored SES Group with the award and toured the facility.
The tour included a look at exhaust and make-up air systems SES Group upgraded in 2013.
Laminating and painting cabinets requires exhausting a lot of air and burning natural gas to heat make-up air. Working with SES Group, Valley Cabinet decreased its exhaust air rate by updating its manufacturing processes and using variable frequency drives to ensure it only exhausts air when needed. That means less need for make-up air and burning less natural gas.
The process upgrades at Valley Cabinet cost $628,500, but Focus on Energy provided a $168,291 financial incentive to help offset the initial cost and the project also provided Valley Cabinet with more than $145,000 in annual energy savings. Combined, the financial incentive and energy savings meant the project would pay for itself in just over three years.
“Most [of our] customers … don’t operate on that [four- to six-year] payback window. They operate at that [two- to three-year window], at max,” Sabel said.
Valley Cabinet is just one of Sabel’s customers to benefit from the contractor’s partnership with Focus on Energy. Commercial and industrial customers working with SES Group on projects have been awarded more than $2.6 million in Focus on Energy financial incentives since 2012. Those projects have resulted in energy savings totaling roughly 6,300,000 MMBtu.
Many of those customers have stayed in touch, reaching out to Sabel for advice on other projects.
“That’s what we’re built on. We’re not a big group, but everything we do is [about] customer relationship,” Sabel explained.
Focus on Energy incentives are available to all residential and commercial customers of the 107 Wisconsin utilities that fund and partner in the Focus on Energy Program.
A recent third-party evaluation noted Focus on Energy runs the most-cost-effective statewide energy efficiency programs in the country. It also found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates more than $5 in benefits for the state of Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs and reduced pollution.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.
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