Starting in 2018, High Country Linen Services and Lower Valley Energy worked together to completely transform operations that will save money and energy for the laundry company. “The decision to turn a laundry production system on its head and transform our entire plant was difficult to say the least but our struggle to maintain the highest quality standards in the face of declining workforce in Teton County made us willing," stated the owner, Mark Barron.
High Country Linen Services didn't stop there, they doubled down to re-invest savings in LVE's Green Power program that uses energy produced only by renewable sources, such as wind and sun, that are replenished naturally.
Saving over 67,000 kWh a year (about $23,400) was not the only goal of this project (the average Lower Valley Energy home uses 21,600 kWh per year). The multimillion-dollar investment, including installing a new tunnel washer, several new dryers, a new steam press, automatic loaders and unloaders along with new conveyors, has also reduced water and natural gas consumption with every pound of linens processed. “Having met these goals with the new equipment, we completely eliminated the second night shift and chose to invest the money saved from conserving energy into higher wages and compensation for our employees and invest in 100% Green Power for all our facilities and employee apartments," Barron continued. The laundry used to run a night shift so the facility could operate 24/7 to keep up with the demand, but that's no longer needed due to the more efficient equipment. The labor savings by not having a second night shift is what has help them to invest in higher employee wages, paying for their employee's private energy consumption and buying into LVE's renewable energy program.
Funded through LVE's incentive programs, which run alongside Bonneville Power Administration's Energy Efficiency programs, the local utility cooperative was able to present High County Linen Services with a check for $16,856.24 for their energy conservation savings.
“The success in completing the numerous steps required to get approval for an incentive payment was due to the efforts of multiple people from all agencies involved who endured the delays from startup and COVID," explains Nosh Makujina, an engineer from Energy Smart Industrial, who partnered with BPA and LVE to help on the project. Each year ESI supports over 150 custom projects throughout the region, savings more than 15 aMW - enough energy to offset the consumption of 12,000 residential homes.
“It is custom projects like this one that keeps our Energy Efficiency Programs thriving. High Country Linens is a model local business that is in tune to energy savings as well as LVE's 100% Green Power program," said Jim Webb, president and CEO. “We appreciate their ongoing commitment to conservation."