Since 1994, Franklin Energy Services, Port Washington, WI, has consulted with utilities, municipalities and states to create energy efficiency programs for its customers. The company has offices in 12 states and more than 375 employees. Named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin Energy bases its approach on this founding father’s core beliefs: ingenuity,
frugality, values and vision.
An example of Franklin Energy’s work is the Focus on Energy program, which
supports cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. In 2011,
Franklin Energy worked with Focus on Energy customers to save more than 89
million kilowatt-hours and more than 1.5 million therms.
In January 2011, Franklin Energy moved its national headquarters to a
10,000-square-foot, former Lake Michigan processing plant, a building on the Na-
tional Register for Historic Places. Paul Schueller, Franklin Energy CEO, wanted
the space to showcase the firm’s approach to energy efficiency.
VRF System Saves Energy Consultant 32% on Electricity
and 48% on Gas
“We have a long history of selecting underutilized buildings for our headquarters and
regional offices,” Schueller says. “Our first headquarters was in a Port Washington
hotel built before the Civil War. Next, a vacant church built in 1913. Now, an old
processing plant. We like our offices to be part of a community where our employees
can walk or bike to work.”
Schueller called on Randy Mueller, Mueller Heating & Cooling, Saukville, WI, to help
design the HVAC system. Mueller, who had previously installed HVAC systems for
Schueller, suggested installing a hydronic heat system in the new headquarters.
Schueller rejected that idea for not meeting his high energy-efficiency goals.
Mueller then turned to his long-time distributor, Auer Steel & Heating Supply Co. in
Milwaukee. Auer’s VRF Specialist, Dave Janquart, looked at Schueller’s floor plan and
told Mueller he had a much better idea – a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning
system from Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling & Heating Division (Mitsubishi Electric),
THIS HISTORIC INDUSTRIAL BUILDING IS THE NEW CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS for Franklin Energy Services in Port Washington, WI. Although a
hydronic system was initially suggested for the retrofit, a highly efficient Mitsubishi VRF system was ultimately installed. The outdoor units of the VRF system are
lightweight and have a small footprint.