ABM, Heller Machine Tools secure largest PACE investment in Michigan

by Brianna Crandall — February 17, 2017 — ABM, a U.S.-based international provider of facility solutions, recently announced that ABM Technical Solutions has signed an agreement to implement the largest PACE-financed project in Michigan for Heller Machine Tools L.P.

ABM’s customized solution will provide energy efficiency upgrades and facility enhancements to Heller’s U.S. headquarters in Troy, Michigan, and is guaranteed to save more than $1.6 million in energy and operating costs over a 15-year period. Project work began June 2016 and is scheduled to be completed this month.

ABM’s energy performance contracting program is designed as a financial mechanism to meet clients’ technical facility needs and sustainability goals. For ABM, the goal is to drive costs out of a client’s operating budget, allowing savings to be reallocated to fund mission-critical facility needs.

ABM truck by Heller factory

Heller Machine Tools is guaranteed to save $1.6 million in energy and operating costs with ABM’s energy performance contracting program using Troy’s PACE financing.

Heller Machine Tools has more than 30 HVAC units at its manufacturing facility that are aging past their useful lives, and no central energy management system to control their operation. An established maintenance client of ABM, the company wanted to determine a proactive, cost-effective strategy to replace this aging equipment as well as reduce the facility’s overall energy waste. Together, ABM and Heller Machine Tools determined a strategy to replace all of the facility’s aging equipment with state-of-the-art, energy-efficient systems using the City of Troy’s recently implemented PACE financing program.

The City of Troy’s PACE Program, under the Lean & Green Michigan program, is a revolutionary financing tool that enables investment in comprehensive energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects by eliminating the need for upfront capital, explains ABM. Instead, the PACE program spreads costs over 10 to 20 years, so that the savings generated from projects are greater than the annual PACE loan repayment — generating immediate positive cash flow.

Plus, under Michigan’s PACE statute, the contractor doing the work must guarantee the energy savings on all projects of $250,000 and up. Therefore, if the projected energy and operational savings are not met in any of the 15 years of the project’s contract, ABM will pay the difference directly to Heller.

ABM’s project will provide more than $978,600 of energy-saving improvements, which include replacing 30+ rooftop units with new, energy-efficient HVAC units, installing a Web-based building automation system, interior/exterior LED lighting and controls, and replacing the oldest section of the facility’s ballasted roof with heat-reflective, energy-efficient white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing.

Other energy efficiency improvements include building envelope enhancements and damper automation to reclaim heat from shop-compressed air operation. The facility is also on track to be one of a select few manufacturing facilities that is ENERGY STAR certified and is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 357.7 metric tons per year.

Altogether, the benefits of ABM’s energy performance contracting program are guaranteed to yield energy and operational costs savings in excess of $1.7 million over 15 years garnered from:

  • Total annual electrical savings: 460,029 kWh
  • Total annual natural gas usage reduction: 658 MMBTU
  • Total annual carbon reduction: 357.5 metric tons
  • Total utility savings: $857,376
  • Total operational savings: $44,500/year

Scott Giacobbe, president of ABM Technical Solutions, stated:

A typical commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it uses. With the help of ABM, Heller Machine Tools will not only capture those savings in energy and operations costs, but also redeploy savings to modernize the company’s facility. By upgrading to state-of-the-art, energy-efficient equipment and implementing ABM’s Guaranteed Maintenance Program, Heller Machine Tools will benefit from a 15-year contract that guarantees energy savings and safeguards against equipment failure.

Keith Vandenkieboom, president/CEO of Heller Machine Tools, added:

The PACE program provided Heller with the opportunity to make major improvements in our facility with no initial cash outlay and positive cash flow through energy and maintenance cost savings. It also allows Heller to reduce our carbon footprint.

 Watch ABM’s video on YouTube to discover how ABM is reducing owning and operating costs to create more efficient and sustainable commercial buildings across the nation.