Focus on Energy: Energy Efficiency Boosts Bottom Line at C & H Distributors

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Dryburgh Neighbors / Tim Wirtz
Hoffman York
414-225-9535 / 414-225-9522
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

– Focus on Energy program helps company reduce energy costs with new lighting fixtures –

MILWAUKEE (June 16, 2004) – C & H Distributors has been a staple in Milwaukee’s business community for more than 60 years. The company’s 360,000-square-foot warehouse is a hub for distributing industrial supplies, office equipment, safety products, packaging materials and supplies for the food industry that are ordered through catalogs and on the Internet. The warehouse space also provides C & H the opportunity to increase its selection and service by offering these options on-site. A building that size also presents its facilities coordinator with challenges, though – and with energy costs continually increasing it became imperative that C & H decrease its energy consumption to remain competitive.

To help combat its high energy costs, the company began working with Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program, in 2003. The two groups have worked together to lower C & H Distributors’ electricity consumption by 40 percent and save an estimated $61,742 in annual energy costs. The numbers are even more impressive considering the only change the company made was to install new energy efficient lighting fixtures.

“It was important for us to concentrate on lowering our energy costs,” said John Galins, facilities and maintenance coordinator and a 28-year veteran at C & H Distributors. “Reducing energy consumption lowers our overhead costs and makes us more competitive in both the local and national markets.”

The energy savings at C & H were due to the replacement of existing metal halide fixtures with UL-approved T8 reflectorized high bay fluorescent fixtures in the warehouse facility. Galins became aware of the Focus on Energy program through Orion Energy Systems, the manufacturer of the new fluorescent lights, and Yale Equipment & Services, the distributor of the lights. The energy efficient lighting has reduced C & H Distributors’ annual energy consumption by 728,948 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity – enough to power 73 average Wisconsin homes.

“Since replacing the older fixtures, the lighting in the warehouse is much more even than it was with the metal halide fixtures and shadows and glare have been eliminated,” said Galins. “We also have been impressed with the improved visibility in the shipping and receiving areas and good vertical illumination of the high rack shelving in the order picking area.”

C & H Distributors Saving More Money and Energy
The new lighting fixtures project was completed in late 2003. Currently, C & H Distributors is installing new circulation fans in its warehouse to help cut down on heating and cooling costs in the months ahead. Along with new circulation fans, Galins and his team are also working with Focus on Energy to install new dock seals to help keep the heat in and the cold weather out.

“Although up-front costs are moderate, the long-range savings earned through the Focus on Energy program are well worth the effort,” emphasized Galins.

About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin. Since July 2001, the program has helped Wisconsin’s businesses and residents reduce their annual energy consumption by more than 304.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and more than 13.7 million therms of natural gas. For more information, call 800-762-7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.