Forest River Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire-Hathway, is one of America’s leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles, pontoon boats, cargo trailers and buses. Forest River operates out of multiple manufacturing facilities throughout the Midwest and West Coast. Its leadership decided to look into reducing the very high cost of operating and maintaining its Dallas, OR location.

The most significant problem was an inefficient legacy lighting system that required constant maintenance and produced poor lighting throughout the facility. The legacy lighting system at Forest River was an antiquated 8ft linear T17 fluorescent Power Groove lamp with magnetic ballasts. Linear T12 lamps were prevalent throughout office troffers, restrooms, and the lunchroom area. Exterior area lighting around the campus consisted of 400W and 1000W high pressure sodium lamps with magnetic ballasts.

The customer’s expectations for this project were to reduce outsourced maintenance costs for lamps & ballasts, reduce safety risk by increasing their light levels, and reduce energy consumption on the connected lighting load across the campus.

To meet the project goals of the customer, North Coast Electric’s Energy Solutions Division (ESD) partnered with Holophane to develop a new lighting layout using Holophane’s Phuzion High Bay and EMS Vapor Tight for all the production areas. In the interior office spaces ESD utilized a Metalux 28W LED retrofit kit to replace the 4-lamp T12 troffers. The exterior lighting was replaced with Forest Lighting high power 200W & 300W area lights.

The proprietary design update developed by ESD provided a 30% increase in light levels while reducing the total fixture count by 55%. The reduction in fixture count and decreased energy usage in updated fixtures created an overall energy savings of  1,962,800 kilowatt hours!    By redesigning the lighting layout not only was ESD able to significantly reduce the total fixture count and save a massive amount of energy, we were also able to distribute the lighting more evenly and effectively. The resulting 30% increase in lighting levels now provides an ideal setting for precision work and a significant increase in worker safety.

ESD utilized the Energy Trust of Oregon’s lighting rebate program to significantly reduce the upfront investment by Forest River. The utility rebate of $555,600 took the total upfront cost of this project down to only $240,600. With annual energy savings of $147,200 and an estimated annual maintenance savings of $127,300 the payback period for this project is less than one year.

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Contact the Energy Specialist:

Neil  Schilling

North Coast Electric Company