Serving Up Energy Efficiency

Different reasons but the same outcome—reduced energy use.

That's the tale of two companies that joined our pilot program "On Demand Savings."

Sustainability was one of the main reasons for Capital Brewery Co. in Middleton. They know that going green, like using locally sourced ingredients and installing a solar array, contributes to its success.

Capital Brewing Process

Capital Brewery participates in MGE’s On Demand Savings program.

Earlier this year, Capital Brewery joined MGE's On Demand Savings program.

This pilot program encourages businesses to better manage their energy use—especially in summer months when electric use peaks across the region. Customers learn to identify strategies to control their on-peak energy demand and reduce costs.

The On Demand Savings program is in partnership with MGE and Wisconsin's Focus on Energy. About 30 businesses participate and receive incentives for shedding kilowatt demand during the on-peak summertime period. MGE has filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to extend this pilot program through 2018.

Programs like On Demand Savings are one way that MGE partners with its customers and shares information to improve energy efficiency. Increasing engagement with customers around energy efficiency and conservation is a key objective in MGE's Energy 2030 framework.

Scott Wiener

Scott Wiener, Chairman and President of Capital Brewery

"I liked the concept of this on-demand program immediately," said Scott Wiener, president and chairman of Capital Brewery. "It provides another opportunity to educate our employees about smart energy use, helps save money and reduces our carbon footprint

"We have switched some fixtures to LED lights and now use some appliances during off-peak times in the early morning or late evening," Wiener added. "On Demand Savings provided the impetus for us to take our next sustainability steps."

Spectrum Brands

At Spectrum Brands, they posed the question: How can you find additional energy savings when you already occupy an energy-efficient building?

The answer: Try reducing your energy demand during peak times—such as hot summer days when air-conditioning use is high.

Spectrum's modern building in Middleton already is energy efficient, but they wanted to do more.

Bill Wheeler

Bill Wheeler, Facility Engineering Manager at Spectrum Brands, looked for energy savings through the program.

Justin Timm

Spectrum also worked with Justin Timm of Control Solutions Inc. to achieve greater savings.

"When it came to saving energy, we didn't have any low-hanging fruit," said Bill Wheeler, Spectrum's Facility Engineering Manager. "So we were intrigued by the On Demand Savings pilot program to see if we could find more adjustments.

With the On Demand Savings program, MGE electric meters interface with customers' own energy management systems—providing real-time data on their energy use. This allows customers to take action to control their energy use during on-peak times.

Spectrum worked with Control Solutions Inc. to achieve greater savings. Justin Timm of Control Solutions said as the temperature rose outside, they increased the temperature set points on their HVAC systems and readjusted fan speeds. The 600 employees at Spectrum's headquarters remained comfortable as the company saved energy.

Spectrum is a diversified consumer products company—from pet supplies to auto care products. In the Madison area, it is best known as the parent company of Rayovac batteries.

batteries undergo testing

Rayovac batteries undergo testing at Spectrum’s global headquarters in Middleton.

MGE is proud to partner with our customers and Focus on Energy to offer the On Demand Savings pilot program. The National Governors Association was instrumental in making this pilot program possible. Results from this pilot will be shared with the Governors Association and similar programs could be replicated across the country.

If through programs such as On Demand Savings, we're able to reduce our peak demand by working together, we can reduce the need for additional generation in the future, which would reduce long-term costs for all customers.

published: 10-17-2016