Starting with Lighting Projects – A.O. Smith

For 150 years, Fergus, Ontario-based A.O. Smith have provided innovative products to Canadian homes. The company operates a large distribution center handling AO Smith, GSW, John Wood residential and commercial water heaters. They also have a Build to Order assembly cell, fully certified CSA engineering lab and business office departments. A.O. Smith uses approximately 1,250,000 kWhs and 750,000 cubic metres of natural gas, annually.

“Energy management is a fundamental operating metric within the Canadian business unit. This metric helps to drive a sustainable culture that ultimately helps our customers, employees and stakeholders,” says David Hammond, VP and GM, Canada and Export Markets.

A.O. Smith’s first energy savings project was the Fergus Distribution Centre lighting project. The financial analysis and payback calculation was motivation to tackle other projects. To understand the next steps, A.O. Smith hired an energy consultant to complete a full building energy audit. Based on the audit, they prioritized projects and have been working on them for the last three years.

Through lighting upgrades in the retrofit program, the company was able to replace 1,300 metal halide lights with T5 and T8 fluorescents with motion sensors. This project had an estimated annual savings of 1,414,000 kilowatt hours and a calculated annual savings of about $163,638.

“Once we saw the potential savings in our facility it motivated us to go even further,” said Rob Henderson, Canadian Operations Manager.

Centre-Wellington Hydro, their local utility provider, were extremely helpful in assisting with technical support, administration help in completing applications and providing direction on what projects make sense.

Since upgrading their lighting, A.O. Smith has gone on to complete 17 projects which have resulted in savings of $261,636, 1,532,631 kWh of electricity, and 405,476 cubic meters of natural gas.

A.O. Smith is now examining the possibilities and options to drive to the next level of energy management over the next five years.