Why Gorell is Saving Energy Now
As a dealer or distributor, do you want to pay for the waste produced
by your supplier—in this case a door or window manufacturer? Brian Zimmerman,
president and chief operating officer of Gorell Windows and Doors, says
you shouldn’t have to.
Zimmerman recently signed his company on as a participant in the “Save
Energy Now LEADER” program, part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
As a LEADER, Gorell has pledged to reduce the company’s energy intensity—and
associated carbon emissions—by at least 25 percent over the next ten years.
The company also agreed to establish energy use and energy intensity baselines,
and to develop an energy management plan over the next 12 months. Gorell
now will report its energy intensity, energy use data and achievements
annually to the DOE. It is one of only 105 companies in the country that
has taken this sustainability pledge.
“We have always tried to be green from the manufacturing to packaging
to how we produce our products,” says Zimmerman.
The program was a perfect fit for Gorell and Zimmerman says that it also
ties into the lean manufacturing program the company already has in place.
“We are focused on removing non value-added waste,” he says. “Customers
don’t want to pay for something that doesn’t add value. They don’t want
to pay for energy consumption.”
Gorell has announced its participation in the DOE program to its dealers
and Zimmerman says they are pleased.
“They know it will result in a smaller price increases or no price increase
at all,” he says.
Gorell made the commitment to the program late last year. It currently
is developing its baseline data so it can monitor its energy consumption
live in real time. A representative from the DOE helped the company install
software that will establish baselines, and also will help employees install
tools to measure energy consumption.
“When you see how much energy you use, you realize how many opportunities
there are for savings,” says Zimmerman. “The more you keep digging the
more things you find.”
He adds that employee participation is crucial and that many have already
started pointing out areas in which they can save.
“An employee pointed out that all our vending machines have backlighting,”
says Zimmerman. “We pay for that so we had all our vending machine companies
come in and take that out. It’s the little things that add up.”
The current energy audit also is changing the way the company looks at
future equipment purchases.
“We used to just look at the function of the machine [i.e., cycle time]
but now we will look at how much energy that machine will produce,” says
Gorell already placed an emphasis on energy efficiency but the participation
in this program allows the company to also share ideas and learn from
others who participate.
“Our purpose of joining was for the support of others and to do something
we already wanted to do,” he adds. —Tara Taffera
DOE and HUD Energy Improvement Program Underway A
Eighteen national, regional and local lenders have announced that they
will participate in a new two-year pilot program that will offer qualified
borrowers living in certain parts of the country low-cost loans to make
energy-saving improvements, including installation of replacement doors
and windows. The program is part of a joint program offered by the Department
of Energy, U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Federal Housing Administration,
in which the involved lenders will provide PowerSaver loans to homeowners
in amounts up to $25,000.
“We believe the market is right for a low-cost financing option for families
who want energy-saving technologies in their home,” says HUD Secretary
Shaun Donovan. “PowerSaver hits on all cylinders by helping credit-worthy
homeowners finance these upgrades, cut their energy bills and boost the
local job market in the process. While FHA and these lenders are jumpstarting
this pilot, we hope its success will lead to a growing private sector
interest in making these types of loans.” PowerSaver was designed to allow
borrowers who have the ability and motivation to take on modest additional
debt to realize the savings over time from home energy improvements, according
to DOE. PowerSaver loans are only available to borrowers with good credit,
manageable debt and at least some equity in their home.
According to the DOE, manufacturing uses nearly a third of U.S. energy,
contributes more to the U.S. economy than any other sector (12 percent)
and employs 14 million workers. DOE officials say boosting industrial
energy efficiency is a means to significantly reduce future carbon emissions
in the United States.
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