Energy Department Recognizes American Guitar Manufacturer for Achieving Energy Productivity Goals

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the energy productivity achievements of C.F. Martin & Co. ® (Martin Guitar), a Nazareth, Pennsylvania-based guitar manufacturer and a partner in DOE’s Better Plants Challenge. As a partner in DOE’s Better Plants Challenge, Martin Guitar committed to improving its energy performance across all of their U.S. operations by 25% within 10 years while sharing their strategies and results. Martin Guitar, founded in 1833 and continuously family owned and operated for six generations, achieved this energy efficiency milestone only two years after joining the program.

“Manufacturing competitiveness is a key goal of this Administration,” said Daniel Simmons, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at DOE. “Through the DOE’s Better Plants program, manufacturers like C.F. Martin are using energy more productively, creating jobs, and driving economic growth.”

To improve its energy performance, Martin Guitar upgraded its aging distributed HVAC Systems with a state of the art Central Hot/Chilled Water Plant. The heart of the central plant is three water-cooled centrifugal chillers (each with a capacity of 500 tons) and three high-efficiency condensing boilers (each with a capacity of 1,000,000 btus). The company invested more than $8 million in the central plant, modular piping and 18 custom air handlers as well as a plate and frame heat exchanger installed as a waterside economizer.

Starting in November of 2016, the new system’s performance was measured by monitoring electrical and gas consumption. Ultimately, the project exceeded Martin Guitar’s expectations, cutting electricity use by 46% and natural gas consumption by 20%. These savings translated into a 27% improvement in energy intensity at the Nazareth plant and more than $500,000 in reduced annual energy costs.

Additional benefits from the project included $150,000 in reduced annual maintenance costs, greater system reliability, and perhaps most importantly for a guitar manufacturer, accurate temperature and humidity control. Martin Guitar was recently recognized by DOE as a Better Plants Goal Achiever in the 2018 Better Buildings Challenge Progress Report.

Nearly 200 manufacturers are now participating in the Better Plants program across the country. To date, these partners have saved $4.2 billion in cumulative energy costs. Through Better Plants, DOE provides partners with a broad range of no-cost tools, trainings, and resources to help partners overcome barriers and identify opportunities to save energy and improve competitiveness.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) conducts research and development to advance affordable and reliable energy that promotes U.S. economic growth and energy security. EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports early-stage research to enhance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and improve domestic industrial competitiveness.

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