Durgin and Crowell, a family-owned sawmill facility based in Springfield, NH, produces and sells Eastern White Pine lumber. Founded in 1976, with just six employees working a small rough green sawmill, the company now employs more than 90 people and is one of the largest production pine sawmills in the Northeast. In a given year, Durgin and Crowell manufactures more than 30 million board feet of lumber (or about two trailer truckloads) per day.
Since 2007, Durgin and Crowell, in partnership with Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH), has identified and implemented efficiency upgrades at its sawmill facility. Since then, by utilizing energy efficiency incentives from PSNH and a grant from USDA, Durgin and Crowell has completed 18 efficiency projects, resulting in an estimated annual savings of nearly 870,000 kWh per year, or just over $100,000 per year. The company also reduced its electricity consumption by more than 10 percent.
Projects include replacement of three large air compressors, upgrading 475 light fixtures with high performance T8s, installing variable frequency drives and AC drives on new motors, and replacing old motors with new, premium efficiency motors. The company also upgraded 49 steam traps in its dry kilns, and has converted its diesel-fired boiler to run on propane.
Most of these projects would not have been feasible without PSNH’s incentives and a federal grant. Durgin and Crowell continues working with PSNH to identify efficiency projects that make sense financially and improve the production process. The compressor upgrades resulted in less down time and less electricity consumption. Along with saving energy, the new lighting has made the workplace more comfortable, and increased employee productivity.
Durgin and Crowell’s employees are more than happy to share stories about their company’s efficiency success. At energy efficiency seminars offered by PSNH and the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, they share best practices with other industrial customers and in turn, learn what other companies are doing to save energy. Malcolm Milne, Durgin and Crowell’s Compliance Coordinator, shared the company’s energy efficiency success stories as a panelist at the 2013 EnerNOC EnergySmart Conference in Boston.
For Durgin and Crowell, energy efficiency has boosted the company’s bottom line, product quality, employee safety, and overall productivity. That’s good news for the environment, not to mention all the wholesalers who count on them for the finest in quality lumber.