Customer Spotlight – Amesbury Truth
Published May 2019
Customer Spotlight featuring TRC’s Carl Murray, discussing the recent lighting upgrades at Amesbury, Truth in Owatonna in both their office spaces and their production areas.
Amesbury Truth, a leading provider of window and door components, has a rich history dating back to as early as 1914 where Truth Hardware began in a blacksmith shop in Ellendale, Minnesota. For over a century, their commitment to quality and innovation has never wavered, and these core values are just as strong with their products and services as they are internally with their facilities and their employees. Their recent interior lighting project showcases their priorities of safety, maintenance and payback to align with their budget.
In the production area alone, Truth achieved a 50% energy savings with this lighting upgrade. They are saving $3,800/month; that’s $200 a day saved by switching to better performing lights that require less maintenance with superior light output!
Jason Rohe, Facilities Engineer at Amesbury Truth in Owatonna, MN shared that they have been considering an LED upgrade across their entire facility for a few years now, and by keeping an eye on the available rebates and working alongside The Retrofit Companies, Inc. to fulfill their unique needs throughout their facility, they knew it was the right time for this interior project. After completing a very well-received exterior lighting upgrade across the Amesbury Truth campus, this interior project addressed both their office areas as well as their expansive production areas. “We’ve used Retrofit on a lot of major lighting and electrical needs; Retrofit is who we contact first. The last couple of years we’ve been watching, knowing we want to do an LED upgrade,” said Rohe.
“Are rebates high enough? Have fixtures gone down? We really considered the savings and the payback,” said Rohe.
TRC’S TURN-KEY PROCESS
“Having the audit helped because ultimately we were trying to figure out the total cost, the payback, and that is what drives the project. As we asked different questions they could continue to customize the quotes for us based on our needs. Retrofit helped guide us on what different options we had and then we could really make the choice,” said Jason Rohe, Facilities Engineer at Amesbury Truth.
The Retrofit Companies, Inc. differs from other partners in that they can truly take an entire project from the very beginning of the conversation all the way through implementation and project follow-ups, making TRC a true turn-key service.
Carl Murray, TRC’s Lighting and Design Consultant, discussed the overall priorities of the project with Jason Rohe, brought out the audit team to assess their facilities, which then resulted in some testing in different areas so Amesbury Truth could really find the best solution. The variables throughout their office spaces and production areas, especially the variety in ceiling heights, made for unique solutions throughout the building. TRC’s design team provided a full scope of work, facilitated the most beneficial rebate for this project, and worked around the schedules and needs of their teams and their 3-shifts to implement the upgrades with no interruption.
“The implementation has been great, and Retrofit has people that are really good to work with. I give them a general direction within areas of the facility, and they worked directly with supervisors, managers, and operators to avoid disruptions. We have a very busy facility with constant activity, but Retrofit worked hard to access fixtures around the work taking place, including during scheduled employee break times,” said Rohe
Having a partner with the flexibility and knowledge to keep customers updated as to the ever changing rebates as well as the various fixtures and lamp options, always keeping the customer’s wants and needs at the forefront, has been an area that TRC is consistently proud of. TRC does not simply present the newest, most expensive, off-the-shelf solution. Every project is different and is completely custom.
“In the plant areas and the offices we went with a Type B direct-wire lamp in their existing fixtures, just to keep costs down. It worked best for their maintenance crew and the rebate system. On all of their cans we actually replaced those to new LED fixtures completely,” said Carl Murray, The Retrofit Companies, Inc.
ENERGY SAVINGS AND PROJECT FEEDBACK
“They had just right around a 2 year payback on the entire project; especially with the hours of operations here combined with the rebate, they were able to take advantage of that good rebate to get the payback to where it needed to be,” said Murray.
With energy-savings and overall payback as the main priorities in this project, TRC knew that with their audit of the facility they could find some really efficient ways to save Amesbury Truth significant energy consumption. Looking at the many types of upgrades that could be implemented around their facilities, they really narrowed it down to the perfect solutions for all varieties of their interior spaces.
In the production areas, this project achieved a 50% energy savings, as well as saving over 30% of the initial project cost through rebates. In the office areas, the lighting upgrades achieved a 40% energy-savings. Coupled with a 2-year payback, these savings were too good to pass up.
“I might be one that’s a little more detailed than other customers, but I’m very happy with how the project and the savings turned out,” said Rohe. “We’ve gotten good comments on the coloring too, lots of employees mentioning that the color is a lot crisper, sharper, and the color is well received. Overall it’s been really good.”
This project resulted in over 8,000 lamps that were removed, and The Retrofit Companies, Inc. environmental division, Retrofit Environmental, was able to recycle all of the removed lamps and ballasts. Something that many customers don’t consider is what to do with all of that hazardous waste, and TRC is happy to provide that as part of the whole project solution. We can take away removed fixtures, lamps and even other wastes from your facility.
LIGHTING: CONTINUING THE TRANSFORMATION
Having a customer that is in tune with their options and savings potential, including rebates, makes going into a large-scale project that much more efficient and rewarding. The Retrofit Companies, Inc. completed an exterior lighting project for Amesbury Truth prior to this interior project, which received great feedback.
“Retrofit also did our exterior lighting, and we just added some more parking light poles behind the building. We have all 3 shifts so every hour of the day somebody could potentially be outside in the lots. Whenever we do these lighting projects, people get pretty excited over the changes, especially the exterior lighting. We get a lot of compliments, it’s so much better walking and it feels much safer,” said Rohe
Amesbury Truth has an additional building in Owatonna, MN and now that this main campus is complete, and the savings is evident even on the first monthly energy-bill, they are already looking at their next project of upgrading their second building.
“We’re excited that this one is done, and now we are starting to focus on our other building across the road. Now that people have seen this and the proven success in one area, people are starting to get ready for the next building,” said Rohe.