How the small town of Libby, Montana used energy efficiency to boost their local economy and save money on their electric bills.
Formula Fabrication, based in Libby, Montana - a small, struggling town - was on the verge of closing its doors a few years ago. With trainings offered by the region’s utilities and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) through the Northwest Ductless Heat Pump Project, the company learned about the benefits of ductless heat pumps (DHPs).
DHPs allowed Formula Fabrication to offer customers a product that delivers more comfort than traditional heating systems and saves them 25 to 35 percent on heating bills through incentives offered by the local utility, Flathead Electric Cooperative. Business is now booming for the company and Libby residents are seeing returns on their bills with the energy saved.
How did they do this? NEEA, in collaboration with its utility and energy efficiency partners, has accelerated the market adoption of DHPs in Northwest homes that rely on electric resistance heating such as baseboards.
Through its Northwest Ductless Heat Pump Project, NEEA and its partners have helped bring this technology to the region, spotlight a new business opportunity for the HVAC community, and provide consumer comfort and energy savings to the Northwest.
Beyond Libby and across the Northwest in the last three years, NEEA’s utility partners have installed more than 13,000 DHPs in the Northwest at a savings of 40,500,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) each year. That’s enough electricity to power 3,805 average homes each year.
To learn more about ductless heating and cooling systems, visit GoingDuctless.com
Formula Fabrication - represented Karee Sweedman
Formula Fabrication is a Libby, Montana-based heating and cooling contractor that specializes in the installation, maintenance, and repairs of equipment such as gas and electric furnaces, high efficiency heat pumps and of course, ductless heat pumps.
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - represented by Alexis Allan
More on NEEA: The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is a non-profit organization working to maximize energy efficiency to meet our future energy needs. NEEA is supported by and works in collaboration with the Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Trust of Oregon and more than 100 Northwest utilities on behalf of more than 12 million energy consumers. NEEA uses the market power of the region to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power more than 568,400 homes each year. Energy efficiency can satisfy more than half of our new demand for energy, saving money, and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live. For more information, visit neea.org.
Flathead Electric - represented by David Bopp
More on Flathead Electric Cooperative, Inc.: Flathead Electric Cooperative, Inc., was established to bring electric service to rural areas of the Flathead Valley. Since 1937, it has grown from a small company serving a handful of rural homes and farms into the largest electric cooperative in Montana, with a mix of rural and urban residential, commercial, and industrial members.
Homeowners: Richard and Lea Kendall, residents of Libby, Montana