Managing Peak Demand Saves Energy, Controls Cost

Feb. 28, 2008
Rochester Metal Products has reduced its monthly peak energy demand by 5,000 kW.

Rochester Metal Products is a jobbing foundry in Rochester, IN, that’s been producing gray iron castings since 1937, supplying manufacturers of lawn and yard equipment. It sells all but 1% of its products to over 250 non-captive customers from coast to coast, and sales have more than doubled in volume in the past 10 years.

Rochester’s 200,000-ft2 plant is designed to produce a range of cast products, from 0.75 to 50 lb. It offers casting design assistance for new products, from original concept to prototyping and final production. It emphasizes customer service with short cycle times, on-time deliveries, consistent quality, and competitive prices.

In 2005, Cinergy, Rochester Metal Products’ electric utility, informed the company it must convert its real-time pricing tariff, with no demand charges, to a new tariff with a significant demand charge. In order to maintain a competitive advantage with electrical costs, Rochester Metal Products determined they needed to implement a demand-management system by early 2006.

In February 2006, an Energy Director 4100 system provided by Powerit Solutions ( was installed. Prior to the installation the typical monthly peak demand was 21,000 kW; since the system has been operating the monthly peak demand is now 16,000 kW.

Energy management at the foundry has been achieved by setting the demand setpoint as low as possible, with only minimal affect on daily production.

Since the installation, the 5,0000-kW reduction has saved Rochester Metal Products more than $60,250/month in electrical charges – and the led to a return on investment in less than three months.

Managing energy costs had been on the minds of the company for years. Doug Smith, project engineer for Rochester Metal Products, commented on their current energy savings: “Powerit Solutions provides our business with a system that controls our electrical demand very well and at a lower cost, with quicker delivery than other companies have in the past.”