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Jackson County REMC Promotes Energy Efficiency with Incentives for Customers

Genesis Plastics in Scottsburg, Indiana serves customers who are very particular about the quality of the products the injection molding firm provides.  The supplier of plastic interior parts for a variety of automobile manufacturers has to precisely match the colors of its products to the other components that are assembled in the automobile interiors.  

So when Jackson County REMC offered a new program that gave rebates to industrial customers who invested in energy efficiency, Genesis Plastics had to look beyond just the question of controlling energy costs.  And the conclusion for Genesis was that they could achieve better color rendition on their plant floor, allowing them to monitor production standards, and also reduce the electric cost of their lighting.

Jackson County REMC Values Industrial/Commercial Customers

“Genesis is a valued customer for Jackson County REMC,” reports Brian Wolka, Member Services Manager for the Brownstown-based electric cooperative.  “They are located in the Scottsburg Northern Business Park that we serve near Interstate 65 so they would have easy highway access to ship to their customers.   We take pride in the service we give our industrial and commercial customers, so they were one of the first industrial accounts we thought of when this industrial incentive program started.”

Jackson County REMC and Hoosier Energy, the co-op’s power provider, partnered to develop an energy efficiency incentive program that could reduce energy usage in industrial plants while providing quick payback to the customer.  The incentive program focuses on lighting, HVAC, and motors, three energy uses that are common through the many industrial customers served by Jackson County REMC and the other cooperatives that purchase power from Hoosier Energy.

Genesis was interested in learning more about the lighting incentive program, so Jackson County REMC arranged to have a payback analysis carried out.  The projections for energy savings spoke for themselves.  “We saw the potential to cut our overhead lighting electricity usage by 47%, and that was pretty convincing,” said Larry Gladden, Director of Manufacturing at Genesis.

Jackson County REMC’s incentives repaid Genesis for more than half the cost of the 279 new fixtures that replaced metal halide lamps with T-8 florescent fixtures.  The result was an electric cost savings that paid for the full cost of the retrofitting in less than six months.  “This project is an excellent example of how the customer, distribution co-op, and the G & T all win when we pursue our common goals,” Wolka said, giving the cooperative perspective on trying to find value for its customers.

New Lighting Cuts Electric Bill Dramatically and Improves Lighting

And what about the impact on the light quality, the important element of maintaining the quality of the product that is shipped to customers?  “We used to rely on auxiliary lights by our molding machines to help us check the color.  Now we can stand out in the aisles and rely on the overhead lighting that’s been retrofitted.  It’s a dramatic improvement,” Gladden explained.

In fact Gladden was so pleased with Jackson County REMC’s use of the incentives, he contacted Clark County REMC and used similar incentives to replace the lighting in another Genesis factory in Jeffersonville, helping the bottom line for a company that prides itself on quality control, and helping two rural electric cooperatives in the Hoosier Energy Power Network to continue their own pursuit of customer satisfaction.