Maximizing energy efficiency takes a village. And for Minnesota businesses, that village requires highly trained engineers and distributors with expertise in efficient products, systems and installation. This month we’re putting the spotlight on John Henry Foster, one of the Midwest’s leading automation and compressed air systems distributors. They also provide mobile service maintenance and repair, 80/20 aluminum framing systems, piping system design and installation, as well as a certified in-house control panel shop.
Since 2012, John Henry Foster has completed more than 330 Xcel Energy-rebated efficiency projects, earning their customers over $1.3 million in compressed air and fluid system optimization rebates. These projects have saved 17.5 million kWh. According to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator, this is equivalent to removing 2,540 passenger vehicles from the road for a year, or saving the energy used by 1,101 homes for a year, or the use of 502,798 propane cylinders for backyard barbeques. Because of their impressive track record on efficiency, John Henry Foster is a multiple-year recipient of Xcel Energy’s Energy Efficiency Partner Award.
John Henry Foster is one of those companies with true staying power — they began serving customers in 1938. With more than 75 years of industry know-how under their belts, they are now 95 employees strong and have built an impressive client list that includes the likes of 3M, Boston Scientific, Medtronic and many major manufacturers and other businesses within the five-state region.
What makes John Henry Foster unique is their ability to handle a wide range of customer needs. They are both an air compressor systems distributor and service provider, with a particular edge when it comes to troubleshooting problems and defining the specific needs of new applications. Rich Dean, VP of Capital Equipment Sales and Service at John Henry Foster, explains it this way, “Our top priority is to make sure we have the right solution for our customer’s business needs. Whether we’re updating an existing system or assisting with a new facility, we make sure the new equipment is the best possible fit in terms of operation efficiency and performance.”
Where do rebates from Xcel Energy come in? John Henry Foster has a well-honed emphasis on equipment efficiency, as energy-efficiency and performance-efficiency often go hand-in-hand. Because they are always looking for energy-efficient solutions for their customers, it makes sense that they are also well-versed in the money-back rebates that go along with those solutions. Dustin Nord, CEM, Industrial Engineer, who conducts air system audits at John Henry Foster, says “Xcel energy efficiency rebates help customers with the transition into the highest efficiency equipment with the fastest possible return on investment. These rebates often make the difference on whether or not the project gets management approval.”
“Energy efficient equipment options mainly sell themselves,” added Ryan Koepsell, Engineering Manager, capital equipment at John Henry Foster. “In some sense, we’ve trained our customers on the value of energy-efficient equipment and how it will benefit them in the long run. Customers know they will be living with the equipment day-to-day, and having equipment that works well and operates cost-effectively is by far the best solution.”