Founded in 1945 by Ruth Campbell Bigelow, Bigelow Tea (Bigelow) is dedicated to being a premier packer of truly fine quality teas. A third generation, family owned and operated tea company with its headquarters in Fairfield, CT, Bigelow operates its business mindful that it is part of a larger community and recognizing that there are social and environmental impacts of running a business.
Bigelow’s commitment to sustainability started over 20 years ago when it began taking steps to reduce its packaging materials, a measure that resulted in an annual savings of 18,500 pounds of materials. As part of the Company’s strategy to reduce its overall energy consumption Bigelow has taken advantage of incentive programs sponsored by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) as well the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. From 2005 until 2007 Bigelow conducted a significant warehouse retrofit and installed a new cooling tower as well as a new air compressor; these measures collectively resulted in an approximate annual savings of 310,000 kWh. The Company also installed a 194 kW solar array which meets 10 percent of its annual electricity requirement.
Most recently Bigelow opted to take part in CEEF’s pilot program, the Business Sustainability Challenge (BSC), which was developed to assist Connecticut businesses make strategic energy and carbon management plans an integral part of their business practices, corporate culture and business sustainability strategy. In 2009 Bigelow implemented several energy saving strategies as part of their participation in the BSC. These include:
- A partial warehouse T8 lighting retrofit.
- Installation of occupancy sensors in the hallways.
- Installation of software that provides automatic shutdown of 200 desktop computers.
- Participation in a three-day lean manufacturing event where Bigelow focused on improving the packaging processes of two of its product lines - productivity improved by 35 percent and would result in an estimated annual savings of 18,500 kWh if the Company chooses to integrate the tested technologies into their assembly lines.
Bigelow will work with the United Illuminating Company in 2010 to develop a strategy to reduce its energy use and carbon footprint over the next three years as well as with an engineering firm that will perform an analysis of the Company’s HVAC systems and manufacturing equipment and processes. Changes implemented as a result of this work will likely impact not just Bigelow’s electricity consumption but its natural gas and oil consumption as well.
|Delivering on the Promise|
|Total Annual Energy Savings||1,147,319 kWh|
|Total Annual Cost Savings||$81,606|
|Years of Investment||3 years|
|Total Project Cost||$1,674,599|
|Public Rate Payer Funded Efficiency Program Contribution||$788,727|
|Customer Payback Period||9.7 years|