JM Etowah, Tenn. Facility Teams Up with TVA for Significant Energy Efficiency Gains

Johns Manville (JM), a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products, was publicly recognized today by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for energy efficiency improvements made to its Etowah, Tenn. facility. Through its participation in TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions for Industry program, JM was able to invest in a large capital project to replace the plant’s current lighting with a state-of-the-art, energy efficient system that lowers its energy usage and reduces CO2 emissions. The project is estimated to reduce the plant’s indirect annual CO2 emissions by more than 6 million pounds and will cut its yearly energy consumption in lighting by more than 70 percent.

“We’re pleased to work with TVA and the Athens Utilities Board on this lighting retrofit program, which is making a positive impact on our plant, our employees and the environment,” said Mike Lawrence, senior vice president and general manager of JM’s Engineered Products Americas business. “This type of investment improves working conditions for our employees while saving significant energy usage (lowering CO2 emissions associated with the production of energy), and therefore costs as well.”

JM’s investment in Etowah was partially offset by a $343,410 rebate from TVA, which was presented today at the Etowah facility. The Etowah project is part of a larger JM initiative that to-date consists of a nearly $8 million investment across the company’s North American plants, with $1.5 million of rebates realized from the various energy efficiency programs managed by local utilities. The initiative has resulted in reduced energy consumption that will generate approximately $2.5 million in annual savings. The project will continue with additional lighting retrofits planned at more JM plants in 2014.

“The biggest energy-saving highlights from JM’s 2013 sustainability program involved significant process refinements, redesigns and retrofits at our plants across North America,” said Dr. Tim Swales, JM’s chief sustainability officer and vice president of Research & Development. “This lighting retrofit initiative stands out because it benefits JM and its stakeholders in many ways. It’s good for JM, because we’ll enjoy the savings for years to come, but it’s also good for our employees, the community, the utility and the environment. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that in 2011, the total electricity consumed in lighting buildings across the U.S. was about 12 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption. If the country could follow our Etowah plant’s leadership of a 70 percent reduction, it would account for nearly an 8 percent reduction in national electricity consumption.”

In Etowah, as in the other JM facilities where projects took place, an initial audit was conducted, taking into account plant operating hours; traffic conditions in various areas; and lighting density requirements. Based on that assessment, almost all of the high bay HID fixtures, which were predominately metal halide, sodium vapor or incandescent lights, were replaced with more efficient and less energy-intensive fixtures.

“Energy efficiency has become an increasingly important part of TVA’s mission to support both the economic growth and environmental health of the Tennessee Valley,” said Odell Frye, general manager of TVA Customer Delivery for the Etowah area. “Johns Manville has been an enthusiastic partner in this effort and has worked closely with their local power provider, the Athens Utilities Board, as well as TVA to make this project a reality.”

About Johns Manville

Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. In business since 1858, the Denver-based company has annual sales of approximately $2.5 billion and holds leadership positions in all of the key markets that it serves. Johns Manville employs approximately 7,000 people and operates 45 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China. For more information:

Johns Manville Holly Leiker, 303-978-2042