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Montana Industries Work Together to Transform Market through Energy Efficiency Knowledge and Savings

Jun 11, 2013

Collaboration between Montana organizations, NorthWestern Energy and NEEA drives energy efficiency programs and strategic energy management in the region

Billings, Mont. – For the second year in a row, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and NorthWestern Energy celebrated Montana companies that are leading the way in managing energy efficiently across Montana. These companies are part of the Central Montana Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Cohort – a group of Montana organizations that shared their experiences launching energy-saving programs in the local business community.

Participating organizations include Cereal Food Processors (in Billings and Great Falls), City of Billings, Pasta Montana and Wood’s Powr-Grip.

Representatives from each organization presented how they implemented energy efficiency measures and reached their energy management goals.

“Through their participation in the cohort program, these organizations are helping Montana and the Northwest improve our energy performance and their own bottom line.  And, they’re meeting other dedicated people doing similar work – and having a great time working together!” said Bob Rowe, CEO, NorthWestern Energy. “The collaboration between NorthWestern Energy and NEEA illustrates how the region can work together to achieve energy savings.”

NorthWestern Energy and NEEA provided training and support to develop a strategic energy management (SEM) plan with five organizations. The cohort alternated meetings between participants’ facilities in Billings and Great Falls, attended webinars and energy team meetings, and shared their experiences and progress throughout the nine-month program.

“Working with the cohort demonstrated ways to improve our energy usage, analyze the performance of our equipment so it runs more effectively, and lets us look for new ways to save energy,” said Jeff Schanz from Cereal Food Processors. “We developed energy saving strategies such as policies, milestones and benchmarks to manage and track our energy usage to help us find new ways to lower operating costs.” 

The Central Strategic Energy Management cohort recognition event provided a venue for participating companies to share their successes, experiences and perspectives on launching their energy management programs and showcased their vision for continued success in Billings, across Montana, and the Northwest.

“By launching energy efficiency programs within their companies, participants in the SEM cohort are illustrating a commitment to helping their organizations improve their bottom line but also transforming the Montana market into a more sustainable one,” said John Wallner, NEEA’s senior strategic market manager. “This vision is shared by NEEA through our collaboration with NorthWestern Energy here in Montana and throughout the region.”

About the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 100 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 12 million energy consumers. NEEA leverages its strong regional partnerships to effect market transformation by accelerating the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, NEEA and its partners –  including Avista Utilities, Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County PUD, Clark Public Utilities, Cowlitz PUD, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Energy Trust of Oregon, Idaho Power, NorthWestern Energy, Pacific Power, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Snohomish County Public Utilities, Tacoma Power  –have saved enough energy to power more than 600,000 homes each year. Energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live. www.neea.org

About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 673,200 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the Company's Web site at www.northwesternenergy.com.

About Cereal Food Processors, Inc.

Cereal Food Processors, Inc., a privately held corporation, is America's largest independent flour milling company and the fourth largest wheat miller in the United States. With 10 U.S. milling facilities, the company serves many and diverse segments of flour users. Cereal Food was founded in 1972 and has grown through acquisitions and expansions steadily over the years to a daily capacity of 101,760 cwts. of flour.