the results are favorable. However, measuring exact energy savings has been
challenging. Electricity is measured in
total consumption; therefore, isolating
specific machinery consumption has
not been feasible. Extensive measurements by the local utility and company
staff indicate that the manufacturer has
saved nearly 1.5 million kWh per year
since installing its geothermal system.
This is a 31 percent reduction in total
energy consumption, and an 85 percent
savings on cooling costs.
Six-year ROI. Pioneering an original,
first-of-its-kind system always brings its
share of trial-and-error costs as unsuccessful initial efforts require undoing
and redoing. For a small manufacturer
such as Multifilm, the costs have been
The company estimates that the
whole system cost $1.3 million, including infrastructural improvements and
upgrades, such as replacing equipment
supply lines, which accounted for a
quarter of the system costs.
Runaway costs were a big concern,
Rogers said. “Again, this was something that had not been done. So you
get into this and you spend all this
money on this project, and if it doesn’t
work, what are you going to do?
“But deep down, I think we all knew
there was no reason it wouldn’t work. It
had to work. But there were no guarantees. It was all on our shoulders,” Rogers said.
About $242,000 in federal and utility
company grants helped offset the project’s cost, and after the annual cost
savings were accounted for, the ROI for
the system is estimated at six years. As
energy costs continue to increase, energy cost savings are expected to grow.
Multifilm’s owners are happy with
the results of the geothermal system
and feel good about their decision to
“We decided that even if it costs us
more money, we want to be the type of
The flexible film enters the vacuum chamber of a metallizer where an aluminum steam
coating is applied.
The geothermal system provides cooling for the press’s central impression drums. Here,
the press prints a photo on flexible film that will become flower preservative pouches.