Air Pear helps firm get energy rebate

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LONGMONT, Colo. -- An enterprising machine tools reseller has received an Xcel Energy rebate toward its investment to improve energy efficiency at its Longmont, Colo. facility.

Xcel Energy, the public utility serving Colorado and seven other states, approved the rebate for Automatics & Machinery Co.’s purchase of Air Pear Thermal Equalizers, destratification fans manufactured by Airius LLC, also in Longmont. To qualify for the Xcel Energy rebate, a company’s energy efficiency project must have a payback of 15 years or less.

The Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) program helped Automatics & Machinery CEO Steven Beck navigate through the utility rebates, the Longmont matching grant program, and the energy audit recommendations that led to a complete lighting upgrade of the warehouse and office and installation of the Air Pear Thermal Equalizers.

“It can be challenging to get a custom rebate approved with Xcel,” said Mary Wiener, a business sustainability specialist with Boulder County’s PACE program. “But Automatics & Machinery showed how the Air Pear Thermal Equalizers are helping the company to reduce energy consumption.”

The company installed six destratification fans throughout their warehouse and placed one in their customer reception area, which also has a high ceiling.

“Business owners are really starting to get this,” Wiener said. “More companies recognize the benefits of implementing energy efficiency projects and saving on their utility bills.”

Automatics & Machinery originally wanted to add an energy-efficient lighting system to light its warehouse, and the company did install T8 linear fluorescents, LED and CFL lighting with more than three times the lumens at 20 percent of the energy usage.

The energy audit also suggested that the company could see further savings by circulating the hot air trapped in the warehouse’s high ceilings.

That‘s when Automatics CEO Beck began investigating how the Air Pear Thermal Equalizer could resolve poor air circulation and uneven temperatures in his warehouse and create a better, more productive working environment for his 10 employees.

The Air Pear’s compact, low wattage and nearly silent air turbine balances out a building’s temperature, from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. As Air Pear destratifies layers of hot air rising up to a high ceiling, a facility’s HVACs and return air systems operate less, run more efficiently and use less valuable energy. Customers of Air Pear report savings of 15 to 30 percent in their annual energy costs.

Automatics & Machinery received an $854 rebate on its total cost of $5,124 to install seven Air Pear Thermal Equalizers. Annual energy cost savings were estimated at $901 at current prices for a simple payback of just 4.1 years. The EnergySmart program estimated a savings per year of 14,311 pounds CO2.

Automatics & Machinery, in business since 1989, purchases high-quality models of CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machinery and other tooling equipment to store in its warehouse and resells to customers throughout the U.S. and world.

A new EnergySmart @Work program, which will continue for three years, is all about education on energy efficiency for both commercial and residential customers. The program’s goal, Wiener said, is to work with 3,000 businesses and some 10,000 residential homes.

For more information on the EnergySmart program, and a look at the case study of Automatics & Machinery Co., go online to www.energysmartatwork.com. To read more about Automatics & Machinery, go to www.automatics.com.

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