Tim Copeland’s furniture designs are all about clean lines and efficiency. Still, when it came to energy efficiency around the factory floor, the owner/designer found it hard to get excited.
Usually when we buy something new it’s woodworking equipment.
That changed when an aging air compressor failed, and Copeland Furniture needed to make an important decision. They consulted with Efficiency Vermont and determined that upgrading to an energy-efficient model was the smart way to go. Like many manufacturers, Copeland relies heavily on compressed air—for everything from cutting to painting. Switching over to an efficient air compressor would save them $5,200 every year.
Then Efficiency Vermont took their consultation a step further. Analyzing the factory’s process, they saw that if Copeland reconfigured their infrastructure they could decommission another older air compressor, and serve all their compressed air needs with a single energy-efficient, higher-capacity unit. In that scenario, they would save $10,200 every year—almost double the savings of simple replacement.
Financing puts a worthwhile investment within reach
While it was clear from Efficiency Vermont’s analysis that tweaking the process would save Copeland Furniture far more money than a one-for-one replacement, the upfront cost of doing the work was a barrier.
That’s when financing came into play. Efficiency Vermont offers a range of financing packages for businesses and—working closely with Copeland Furniture’s CFO and their lender—they were able to structure a loan that was cash flow positive from day one. Their monthly energy savings more than covers their monthly loan payment, and in less than three years the loan will be paid off. Considering the new air compressor has a lifetime expectancy of at least fifteen years, that was an investment Copeland couldn’t pass up.
“It’s tough to get excited about air, even though we really rely on it.” Says Copeland, “But the study Efficiency Vermont did for us pointed to the strong case for upgrading our process, and we’re really pleased with the outcome.”