Crown Battery, AEP Ohio save enough electricity to power 13,000 homes

Jul 8, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Crown Battery saved 13.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough to power 13,000 American homes — since it joined AEP Ohio’s Business Incentive Program. Now Crown Battery and AEP Ohio want to show other companies how to save big on energy costs, create jobs and protect the environment.

AEP Ohio’s program reimburses some of the cost of their customers energy efficiency upgrades and helps find ways to optimize energy use.

With AEP Ohio’s help, Crown Battery’s Fremont Operations reduced energy consumption by 37.6% in just five years, while building more batteries each year.

That is a greenhouse gas reduction equivalent to taking 2,916 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.

“AEP Ohio is one of the few power companies that incentivizes customers to not use their electricity,” said Ed Schwartz, AEP Ohio Customer Account Manager. “Helping our customers reduce their usage puts less demand on the system. It is more cost-effective and better for the environment.”

President Hal Hawk of Crown Battery agrees.

“Our first co-funded energy upgrades helped us create new jobs and reduce operating costs, all while helping our environment,” said Hawk. “The results were so positive, Crown has also invested more than $4.5 million in energy efficiency. Any company that wants to improve its sustainability and profits should be doing this.”

“It’s easy to apply AEP Ohio’s Business Incentive Program or find out what your power company offers,” said Schwartz. “AEP Ohio will help in any way it can. It’s up to businesses to decide how far they’ll go.”

Crown’s energy saving journey began in 2009 with an energy audit. Next came low cost and no cost energy efficiency improvements.

“We were so impressed by the initial results that we decided to go all-in, making energy efficiency one of our company’s pillars,” said Bob Michael, Crown’s Director of Plant Engineering.

“Some of our best energy-saving suggestions came from our employees,” said Hawk. “We also volunteered to join AEP Ohio’s Continuous Energy Improvement (CEI) program. Their energy training and workshops helped us accomplish more with less electricity.”

Electric companies now visit Crown’s headquarters and offer employees free LED lights and other energy- and money-saving tools and tips.

Crown Battery’s energy improvements include on-site solar panels, ultra-efficient lighting and geothermal cooling, using colder temperatures deep in the earth, the latter saving 163,452 kilowatt-hours a year. They also paid to install an on-site electrical substation to reduce transmission losses.

“Crown’s battery type is already more recyclable than an aluminum can, according to the U.S. EPA,” said Hawk. “These energy efficient investments make our batteries even greener.”

For its efforts, Crown Battery was one of just five companies to receive AEP Ohio’s 2020 Sustained Excellence Award for its high levels of energy efficiency involvement over back-to-back years.

With battery charging 70% of Crown’s electricity usage, Crown’s latest project is a $3.5 million charger upgrade to drastically reduce energy consumption. It will also improve battery performance and lifespan.

“We reinvest all our energy rebates and incentives into new energy-saving equipment and programs,” said Michael. “Because we’re privately held, we can focus on long-term improvements instead of quarterly numbers.”

AEP Ohio has been an incredible partner, said Hawk.

“We’re proud of our team for making energy efficiency part of every workday. Together, we’ve cut our carbon footprint and our electric bill, all while creating jobs and building a better product,” he said. “Saving energy is a win-win for our environment, our company, our community and our customers.”

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