Case Studies: Commercial Energy Savings in Indiana

In December 2009, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission established the state’s energy efficiency standard, requiring investor-owned electric utilities to achieve a 2% annual reduction in the prior year’s electricity sales by 2019 (with interim savings goals increasing at 0.2% per year).  Energizing Indiana was subsequently formed as the customer-funded, statewide energy efficiency program.  After two years of operation, Energizing Indiana achieved $3 in savings for every $1 spent. However, in March 2014, Senate Bill 340 became law, eliminating Indiana’s energy efficiency standard, precluding the commission from establishing a new mandate, and ending Energizing Indiana programs by December 31, 2014.  

While proposed utility energy efficiency programs for 2015 are currently under consideration by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, no policy or regulatory strategy has been developed to ensure long-term and continuous investment in energy efficiency. In response to comments received during meetings with Indiana legislators, energy service providers, customers, and utilities, MEEA has developed a series of case studies highlighting Indiana businesses that have benefited from the customer-funded, utility-operated energy efficiency programs. These one-page case studies demonstrate the considerable savings and positive return on investment experienced by the businesses.

Over the coming months the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) will continue to work to ensure that, the state’s economic future capitalizes on all cost-effective energy efficiency to the greatest extent possible. The case studies include the following businesses:

Heartland Automotive-HVAC and Lighting System Upgrades

With operations in Greencastle and Lafayette, Heartland Automotive is one of the largest automotive part manufacturers in Indiana. Through a combined effort from Duke Energy’s Smart Saver Program® and Energizing Indiana®, Heartland Automotive qualified for a $79,775 rebate to help offset the cost of upgrading their manufacturing facility’s HVAC and lighting system. The more efficient systems helped save Heartland Automotive over $82,000 a year in operating costs and reduce their annual energy consumption by 916,145 kWh.

Coastal Partners and Havel Brothers- Lighting System Upgrades

As property owners and developers, Coastal Partners recognized the importance of increasing the attractiveness of their lease by reducing building operating costs and passing those savings on to their tenants. They partnered with the Havel Brothers, one of their tenants at a Ft. Wayne based industrial complex to upgrade the building’s lighting fixtures. Together, they qualified for a $108,445 rebate from Energizing Indiana’s Commercial and Industrial Prescriptive Rebate Program®. By replacing nearly 1,000 lights, the facility’s annual energy use was reduced by 665,418 kWh which saved $45,000 in utility bill savings operating costs. The operating cost savings combined with the Energizing Indiana rebate allowed the Coastal Partners and Havel Brothers team to payback their investment in just 18 monthxs.

Mullinix Packages- Compressed Air System Upgrades

In order to create their unique line of advanced plastic food storage containers, the Ft. Wayne based Mullinix Packaging facility must use a series of manufacturing processes that rely on compressed air units. After identifying substantial leaks in their compressed air system, Mullinix Packaging enlisted the help of Indiana Michigan Power’s Retro-Commissioning Lite® program. Rather than completely replace the compressed air units, upgrades were added to the existing system, which lowered the energy use by almost 2.8 million kWh per year and saved $71,688 in operating costs. These savings combined with a $148,488 rebate from the Retro-Commissioning Lite® program allowed Mullinix Packaging to enjoy a 1.2 year payback period on the entire project.

SUPERVALU- Refrigeration System Upgrades

SUPERVALU Grocery Stores recognizes the importance of using their resources as effectively as possible in order to pass their energy savings on to their customers. While upgrading their Ft. Wayne based distribution center, SUPERVALU reached out to Indiana Michigan Power to help them upgrade the efficiency of their refrigeration system. Utilizing a $39,607 incentive from IMP’s Prescriptive Refrigeration Program®, SUPERVALU successfully increased the refrigeration system’s overall efficiency which amounted to yearly savings of 857,000 kWh and over $50,000 in avoided operating costs.  With the combined savings and IMP incentive, SUPERVALU experienced a 4.8 year payback on the $286,927 project.

Central Elementary- Boiler and Ventilation System Upgrades

After 75 years of operation, Beech Grove’s Central Elementary began to struggle to provide quiet and comfortable classroom spaces for students and teachers to interact. From building wide temperature swings, wasteful boilers, and noisy ventilation systems, the school needed major updates to enhance its learning environment and improve its efficiency. Performance Services, a leading design-build construction company, took on the challenge and guaranteed Central Elementary yearly savings of at least 15,000 kWh and 13,000 therms. By upgrading the boiler and ventilation systems and installing a series of room temperature controls, Performance Services helped Central Elementary exceed the guaranteed energy savings, save $164,505 in operation costs, and ultimately qualify for an ENERGY STAR® Certification.

Download the case studies below.