DOE Recognizes Milgard for Plant Energy Efficiency Upgrade

November 6, 2009
Noteworthy

Milgard Windows & Doors has received the 2009 Energy Saver award presented by the U.S. Department of Energy for efficiency improvements and energy savings at its Tacoma, Wash., vinyl extrusion plant. Awarded to only 95 organizations this year, the award is part of the Save Energy Now program that honors companies that have achieved more than 7.5 percent total energy savings compared to the prior year.

"This award is a great surprise for Milgard. We're the only window manufacturer awarded this honor in 2009 and we're very proud of our vinyl plant and all our associates who made this award a reality," says Matt Attebery, general manager of the vinyl extrusion plant in Tacoma. "We didn't start this project with any award in mind. We were looking at efficiency measures as a way to achieve a positive effect on the environment and our bottom line."

DOE presents the annual awards to individual plants and companies for actively pursuing energy-saving opportunities identified through a Save Energy Now energy assessment. By implementing assessment recommendations over the last year, these manufacturers have achieved more
than $47 million in total cost savings and 6.2 trillion BTU in total energy savings, DOE reports.

The Save Energy Now assessment followed Milgard's own Process EcoValuation event, a program based on lean manufacturing principles developed by its parent company, Masco. Together with an energy audit conducted by students from the University of Washington, significant opportunities for reduced material waste and energy reductions were revealed. The company's participation in the Process EcoValuation program focused on uncovering different types of energy and resource savings with the goal to improve operations, reduce costs and continue the continuous cycle of
incremental change throughout Milgard's organization, officials note.

"We were able to implement a wide variety of the recommendations we received, from improving insulation in critical areas to identifying hidden energy waste from motors larger than necessary for the functions they serve," explains Attebery. "We're always interested in finding new ways to be as
environmentally conscious as possible and improve operations. Sustainability is just good for business."

Milgard's vinyl extrusion plant is one of the largest producers of vinyl lineals for the fenestration industry on the West Coast, supplying the organization's window manufacturing processes across the U.S. Efficiency gains realized in the Tacoma plant are making a positive effect throughout Milgard's operations nationwide, the company reports.