0616-jeffreyThe rising cost of energy is a serious concern of manufacturing and other businesses in the Colorado Springs area. We at JPM Prototype & Mfg. Inc. are constantly looking for new ways to keep the lights on and the spindles turning.

Colorado Springs Utilities offered to help, but was the offer real? I suspected it was not.

After all, its revenues increase when I pay more for energy, right? Why would it partner with me to reduce its revenues?

As a member of Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance South, I and others were tasked with exploring ways energy costs could be reduced. After months of frustration with efforts at my own business, I decided to take CSU up on its offer.

We started with CSU’s energy audit to identify where energy consumption was occurring within my business. Once we determined what areas to target, we worked with CSU on a custom rebate program. With the help of this rebate, we were able to purchase a new energy-efficient air compressor and install LED lighting throughout our facility.

There was a cost associated with these two upgrades, but it was more than offset by the astonishing results.

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First, we were able to see a three-year return on investment on both the compressor and lighting with CSU paying for a good portion of the cost of the project. Second, the maintenance cost for both was significantly reduced. Third, the upgrade put us into a lower energy rate category.

This third benefit was significant for us. Before the upgrade, we were just over the 1,000 Kw-hour average, pushing us into a higher rate bracket. By keeping an eye on usage over the past two months, we were able to drop to around 850 Kw hours, thus keeping us well below that higher rate category.

I have shed my doubts about CSU’s offers to help. I discovered that CSU is in fact a partner for our community, and it is willing and eager to assist businesses in finding ways for reducing energy costs. It is a win-win partnership.

But don’t take my word for it. Seek out your account representative, sit down and discuss how CSU can help save energy and reduce rates.

We did, and are reaping the benefits now and will do so far into the future.

I have come to appreciate that we have a top-rated and supportive utility company right here in our own backyard.

It is good business to get to know them.

Dave Jeffrey is the owner and president of JPM Prototype & Mfg. Inc. He can be reached at djeffrey@jpmprototype.com.