Nor-Cal Products, Inc. Case Study

Steve Serdahl, facilities maintenance and safety manager; Tom Deany, president and CEO; and Tim Nilsson, vice president of marketing, Nor-Cal Products, Inc.From left: Steve Serdahl, facilities maintenance and safety manager; Tom Deany, president and CEO; and Tim Nilsson, vice president of marketing, Nor-Cal Products, Inc.

Nor-Cal Products, Inc. recently replaced older T12 fluorescent fixtures and magnetic ballasts with high-efficiency T8 lighting with electronic ballasts throughout the two buildings on its Yreka, California, campus.

A leading developer and supplier of stainless steel vacuum components for the semiconductor industry, Nor-Cal took advantage of Pacific Power’s FinAnswer® Express energy efficiency incentives to help pay for the change.

The manufacturer’s lighting improvements each year are saving approximately 480,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Electricity savings from the upgrade translate into $39,500 in annual energy cost savings.

The company received a total of $41,800 in Pacific Power incentives to help offset the cost of the improvements, reducing the overall simple payback of the project from nearly three years to less than two.

Background

The extensive project got its start in a conversation Steve Serdahl, Nor-Cal’s facilities maintenance and safety manager, had with an electrical distributor. “I asked what we could do to conserve energy since we try to be as ‘green’ as possible,” said Serdahl.

Areas Number of Fixtures Replaced With Annual kwh Savings $/year Savings
Offices, common areas, entries & hallways 231 1, 2, 3 and 4-lamp four foot T12 lamps with magnetic ballasts*

1, 2, 3 and 4-lamp four foot high lumen output premium T8s with electronic ballasts (ballast factor < 0.8)

75,370 $6,279
Production, shipping & storage areas 503 2-lamp 8 foot T12 high output lamps with magnetic ballasts, 4-lamp four foot T12 lamps with magnetic ballasts 4-lamp high lumen output premium T8s with electronic ballasts (ballast factor <0.8) 405,894 $33,260
Total (building 1 and 2) 734     481.264 $39,540
*19 of the fixtures were standard T8s with electronic ballasts
 

“Nor-Cal has always been a responsible corporate citizen in terms of caring for our community and the environment, and energy efficiency is part of that,” said Tim Nilsson, the company’s vice president of marketing. Nor-Cal, which is the largest employer in Siskiyou County, also recycles more than a quarter million pounds a year of stainless steel leftover from machining and metal forming, and uses biodegradable detergents in its processes.

In addition, sustainability initiatives rank high on the priority list of Nor-Cal’s customers. Quality policies they follow, such as those of the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), have standards for resource and environmental management as well. Nilsson said, “We’re an ISO 9000 certified company, and we’re working toward ISO 14000 certification because it’s important to our customers.”

To answer Serdahl’s question, Nor-Cal’s electrical distributor told him about Pacific Power’s energy efficiency programs. He also suggested Serdahl call Day Electric, a Pacific Power Energy Efficiency Alliance vendor, to evaluate Nor-Cal’s lighting for possible savings.

Day Electric performed alighting audit and showed that the manufacturer would indeed reap substantial energy savings from its upgrade.

Other benefits

Nor-Cal Leak Test Turbo Bench

Serdahl noted that the maintenance needs of the new lighting are lower, and the company’s machinists have praised the better light volume and improved light quality. Nor-Cal also is now well-prepared for coming changes to federal fluorescent lighting standards.

Learn more about incentives for wattsmart energy upgrades »