Want a big picture of how your business uses energy? Camco, a manufacturer of screw machine products and custom-made components, did. This small business in Crestwood, IL, benefitted from a comprehensive assessment of its building’s major components, including building envelope (e.g., walls, floors, roofs and doors), HVAC equipment, lighting and more. You can also take this first step toward reducing your electric bill and discovering the benefits of energy savings beyond updating your lighting.
Camco was introduced to the ComEd Small Business Energy Savings (SBES) program by the Environmental Protection Agency. While exploring options to reduce operating costs, Camco decided to take advantage of the SBES offer to review its entire 6,000 square-foot manufacturing facility for energy efficiency.
A ComEd SBES energy advisor and trade ally (contractors qualified to make energy-saving improvements) conducted an assessment of Camco’s Crestwood facility to identify potential energy-saving opportunities. During the visit, the owner explained that while he was looking to reduce overall electricity costs, he was only interested in lighting upgrades. After a full tour of the facility, ComEd identified several capital improvements. Financial incentives were offered to help Camco maximize their savings potential, allowing the owner to install new lighting and controls, occupancy sensors and smart thermostats — as well as replace a 50-year-old, inefficient air compressor. The deficient compressor was so critically outdated that replacement parts had become obsolete and Camco had to manufacture parts in-house to keep the compressor operational. The ComEd incentives provided Camco with an immediate short-term economical solution for replacing the aging compressor and a plan to ultimately replace the other compressors.
Installing the new high-powered, energy-efficient air compressor enabled machinery to run after-hours without an operator present. Since the installation, Camco now produces between 700 to 1,000 parts after normal business hours. Work that used to take two to three days to create, now takes less than a day. With the modernized compressor, Camco was able to add new equipment and technology to the production area with plans to add more — a true investment toward the future.
In just a few short months, Camco has realized substantial improvements at their facility postinstallation. Brighter spaces as a result of new lighting in the office, tool shop and lunch areas have increased employee morale and productivity during early morning hours. Plus, employees no longer have to worry about switching lights off and wasting energy — new occupancy and motion sensors automatically take care of this in locker rooms and the tool shop.
“The new compressor allows us to work faster. The more productive and efficient we are — the higher our profits,” said Emmanuel Arevalo-Nowell, Camco’s special projects coordinator. “I would advise any small business to go forward with this type of project to invest in themselves, their community and their environment. The ComEd SBES program helps you to move into the 21st century with regards to new technology and energy savings. Any business that wants to become greener should seize this opportunity.”
In addition to compressed air improvements, the owner is considering other energy-saving opportunities, such as installation of lighting and beverage machine controls, smart thermostats, lighting and HVAC equipment upgrades and the replacement of inefficient windows.
Through the ComEd® Energy Efficiency Program, the energy advisor and trade ally worked with Camco to:
- Identify energy-saving opportunities and available incentives.
- Improve awareness about energy-efficiency best practices for the business.
- Realize an annual savings of approximately 39,700 kW in energy and a cost savings of $3,969.42, once installation is completed.
The energy advisor and trade ally’s facility assessment played a significant role in the owner’s decision to move forward with the projects. “They understood what our issues are, how our energy is being used and what changes we need for more energy-efficient practices,” said Arevalo-Nowell, Camco’s special projects coordinator. “I would recommend the ComEd energy assessment to any small business out there. This is a great program to realize energy efficiency in your place of business and help you achieve cost savings.”
Want to learn more about saving on energy costs for your small business? Contact ComEd at 1(855) 433-2700 or visit ComEd.com/Business.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse Chicago.