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Success Story

Chester Cabinets, Bend, OR

Estimated annual savings: 3,000 therms

When Robin Chester of Chester Cabinets pulled up to his shop in Bend, Oregon, during his employees’ lunch breaks, he could hear the dust collector system running even though no equipment was in use. “I knew that was not right and it had gone on for years,” said Chester.

At a cabinet manufacturing trade show, Chester saw products that were the type of solution he was seeking to cut back his dust collector system’s daily operation. The controls turned on the dust collector when the machinery turned on and turned off the dust collector shortly after the machinery turned off. Plus, he learned he could receive cash incentives for reducing the dust collector’s energy use.

Energy Trust helped Chester borrow the requisite measurement devices—motor run-time loggers—from the Tool Lending Library, which is a free service that lends diagnostic tools to Energy Trust customers. The loggers collected run-time data for two weeks, and analysis for all seven motors indicated that the dust collector could be turned off for two out of nine hours per day.

Chester Cabinets worked with an Energy Trust trade ally who upgraded the dust collector system, installing new custom controls to link the dust collector’s operation to equipment operation. The project has already produced substantial reductions in energy use. “My electric bill is approximately $400 less each month and the remaining return on investment was recouped within a year,” said Chester.

Learn more about the Tool Lending Library