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The University of Alabama

Alabama Companies Recognized for Energy Savings Garnered from UA’s AIAC

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Green initiatives are playing a paramount role in President Barack Obama’s agenda, and while he is supporting green initiatives on a national scale, the Alabama Industrial Assessment Center is putting these efforts into play throughout the state. At least two Alabama companies working with the AIAC have significantly reduced energy usage and therefore improved cost savings.

The U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program recently recognized Johnson Controls of Cottondale and Specification Rubber Products of Alabaster for substantial energy savings due to energy assessments and recommendations from the AIAC, which is headquartered at The University of Alabama College of Engineering.

The AIAC is one of 26 Department of Energy-funded centers throughout the country tasked with assisting manufacturing plants with energy conservation, waste reduction and productivity increases by issuing a detailed report of energy savings recommendations.

Johnson Controls was named a 2009 Energy Saver by the Industrial Technologies Program, which recognizes facilities that have made progress in implementing assessment recommendations to save energy and cut costs as part of the Save Energy Now energy assessments. The AIAC recommendations resulted in saving more than 14 percent total energy at Johnson Controls.

“Sustainability is one of Johnson Controls’ core values, therefore it is an honor to be recognized by the Department of Energy as a recipient of the 2009 Energy Saver Award,” said Brian Middleton, Six Sigma Master Black Belt of Johnson Controls.

This is the second year in a row that one of the AIAC clients received these national awards. In 2008, Specification Rubber Products of Alabaster was recognized for implementing energy savings from an AIAC assessment report totaling more than 7.5 percent of their energy use as a result in reduction of natural gas. AIAC recommended actions in reducing steam leaks and insulating bare steam equipment, enabling them to save approximately $37,000.

Steven Smith, president of Specification Rubber Products, a subsidiary of American Cast Iron Pipe Company, known as ACIPCO, said his employees have made a concerted effort to implement reductions at every level of operations because energy savings is more critical today than ever before.

“Regarding the environment, as responsible business leaders we have an obligation to our community as well as our children and grandchildren to conserve our resources,” said Smith. “Specification Rubber Products is extremely proud of its efforts and accomplishments in the areas of energy savings. We have experienced tremendous reductions and improved efficiencies by focusing on key projects identified in the detailed audit conducted by the AIAC.”

For more information regarding the Alabama Industrial Assessment Center, visit

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 2,300 students and more than 100 faculty. In the last seven years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater scholars, Hollings scholars and Portz scholars.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.