June 2009

After energy-efficiency pilot program

Mahle Inc. Saves Big Bucks

Almost a third of a million dollars a year. That’s how much Mahle Inc. of Morristown, Tenn., is saving each year in energy costs after making improvements recommended in a TVA energy-efficiency pilot program for major industrial customers.

When Jody Wigington and Sara Madugula started working with a Morristown, Tenn., industry, they weren’t just trimming energy costs. They were doing their part to beat the recession.

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From left, Frank Rapley, general manager in Energy Efficiency Program Design; Sara Madugula, product manager in Efficiency Program Design; and Steve Morrow, manager of Commercial & Industrial Efficiency Program Design, are among the Nashville staff members who develop energy-efficiency programs that are implemented at the plant by TVA’s delivery team.

And their part amounts to almost a third of a million dollars a year. That’s how much Mahle Inc. achieved in savings after making improvements recommended in a TVA energy-efficiency pilot program for major industrial customers.

“Our goal is to help the major industrial customers TVA distributors serve to reduce their energy intensity, so they can survive this recession and become more competitive in the long term,” says Madugula, a product manager in Energy Efficiency & Demand Response. Madugula worked on the design and implementation of the Mahle project.

Mahle Inc. produces aluminum pistons for automobiles and trucks and is served by Morristown Utilities Commission, which participated in the pilot program. MUC worked with TVA and the Department of Energy to identify energy-efficiency opportunities at the Mahle facility.

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Above: From left, at the Mahle Inc. plant in Morristown, Tenn., are Mahle Technical Services Manager Ken Bohleber and Technical/Support Services Director Dennis McCallister, TVA Distributor Delivery Regional Manager Candyce Hitchcock and Morristown Utilities Commission General Manager Jody Wigington.

“We assisted TVA in studying Mahle and identifying potential demand-reduction opportunities in the pilot,” says Wigington, MUC general manager. The DOE portion of the work was done under the Save Energy Now program for qualified industries.

Because Mahle made its energy improvements promptly, it qualified for an incentive lump-sum payment of $50,000 from TVA through MUC. “It’s an investment in the future,” says Wigington. “Even though we lost revenue, anything that can help the customer keep jobs in the area is good for us. Mahle is our largest employer.”

As a result of the improvements, Mahle will realize a demand reduction of about 800 kilowatts of electricity annually, with savings estimated at $324,000 per year.

That’s good for Mahle and for TVA, says Madugula. “It saves money for the company, and it helps reduce the total amount of power TVA has to provide.

“In the EEDR group, we are trying to design programs to help all kinds of consumers – residential, commercial, industrial – lower their energy bills.”

Results from the pilot program are being used to design a Tennessee Valley-wide major industrial program, one of many energy-efficiency and demand-response programs being developed to help TVA reduce the growth in peak-power demand.