A.O. Reed Makes Energy and Cost Savings Come to Life for Kyocera America, Inc.

By GREENSTAR | 03/25/2013

Kyocera America, Inc. (Kyocera) is a complex and dynamic type of property. Located in the heart of San Diego, CA, for 42 years, it spans the lot with five buildings dedicated to the successful manufacturing and sale of innovative products. Kyocera’s expertise ranges from semiconductor packaging to industrial solar energy to electronic components. The property is used for a variety of purposes—for example, a space devoted to manufacturing one minute could be used as a warehouse or computer lab the next. As a way to keep up with the quick pace of the company’s growth and dynamic needs, Kyocera has partnered with one of the West Coast’s leading mechanical contractors, A.O. Reed & Co.

A.O. Reed, based in San Diego, CA, is committed to managing all of their projects using a comprehensive and holistic approach, as reinforced by their 2013 San Diego Gas & Electric Trade Professional Award. Jaimi Lomas, General Manager of the Service Division, explains “Our team is both creative and diverse. The idea is not to just capture the low-hanging fruit, but to be as comprehensive as possible with each project. We’ll do the mechanical, the lighting, the refrigeration, the controls…and then, package the entire program up together using our local utility incentives and financing. We present the project full turnkey to our customers and that’s how we sell it. With a facility like Kyocera, once you have completed one project, there is almost always the next.”

A.O. Reed and Kyocera worked hand-in-hand to update and improve the property’s capabilities. The project was implemented in three key phases that resulted in annual energy savings of approximately 2.5 million kWh for Kyocera.

Phase 1: The path to energy savings began in 2009. This phase was focused on controlling and measuring the systems Kyocera already had in place. A.O. Reed implemented new speed drives, a new Honeywell tridium control system and clean room retrofit. In just six months, from the energy audit to the post-evaluation, these new measures were standardized, saving the property 870,406 kWh in energy and approximately $352,000 each year.

Phase 2: During this phase, A.O. Reed focused on a chill water expansion project to make the chill water loop more efficient. This was implemented while the team was wrapping up the post-evaluation and measurement analysis of phase 1. The results of this measure netted Kyocera to annual savings of 122,000 kWh and approximately $50,000.

Phase 3: The most recent phase is arguably the most outstanding in its undertaking and the savings it produced. Control measures were developed and expanded to incorporate additional speed drives and controls. A.O. Reed installed 240 meters enabling Kyocera to monitor and regulate the usage of all their different tenants across the property from just one location. These measures now save the property over 1.4 million kWh annually with a payback of under two and a half years.

The annual dollar savings of $515,000, combined with the substantial improvement in operational efficiencies, has made the Kyocera project a huge success. “Before our measures, Kyocera would have to physically send someone out to manually read each and every meter...they’d even have their in-house and our A.O. Reed service team running up to the roof, adjusting valves to tweak each unit ,” says Lomas. The biggest benefit to Kyocera is that they can now read and adjust everything real-time, and provide invoicing to each internal cost center accordingly from a computer. This is monumental for the facility management team and essential for a building that needs to meet the requirements of various departments spread throughout the property.

For the energy, money, and the trips up the stairs saved, Kyocera gives praise to the accomplishments of the A.O. Reed team: “We would not have been able to achieve this great success without A.O. Reed,” says Plant Engineering Manager John Tanaka. “They have exceeded our expectations of typical contract level support. The impact of this energy project goes beyond financial benefits — it has an environmental contribution… it reduces natural gas usage, NOx and C02emission. The direct benefits of this project are the cost savings, an SDG&E incentive, On-Bill Financing and our sophisticated Honeywell BMS system. This system guarantees 24 /7 support for clean room operation and meets our high level goal.”