Lean, Clean Energy
Southern Folger First in Nation to Complete Lean, Clean Energy Program

Southern Folger was the first in the nation to complete the Lean, Clean Energy program, which helps manufacturers make energy-efficiency improvements, implement-pollution prevention strategies and apply lean manufacturing principles.    

San Antonio's local electrical utility company,  CPS Energy, partnered with  the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to provide training, resources and tools to help manufacturers implement energy-efficiency changes.

TMAC manufacturing specialists Carl Allsup and Carson Miller analyzed energy bills, conducted an assessment of the manufacturing plant and facilitated training on key energy-using systems.  Based on the findings, TMAC and Southern Folger employees worked together to implement strategies that could save the company energy and money. 

Joe Chavez, director of operations for Southern Folger, said one of the improvements that made the most difference came from repairing air leaks from a compressor that used a significant amount of electricity. Altogether, fixing the leaks saved more than 11,000 kilowatt-hours within the first few months of the project.

“We’re quite proud of bringing in TMAC and CPS Energy,” Chavez said.  “When we brought additional eyes to look at our process, we started to see that we had not reached a certain level of efficiency.  Our energy costs were out the roof.  To be competitive in this industry, especially with the economy like it is, keeping utility costs low is important.  The utility savings have been huge.”

Lean, Clean Energy, which is part of CPS Energy’s Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP) initiative, has a goal of reducing 9 megawatts (MW) of electrical demand from local manufacturing sources by 2020.  STEP’s overall goal is to reduce growth in demand by 771 MW – the equivalent of a large electrical generating unit – by 2020.


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