Briggs & Stratton takes top-down approach to energy efficiency

U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program
Tags: energy management

At Briggs & Stratton, the drive for improved energy efficiency does not stop at the door to the manufacturing plants. The power equipment manufacturer, headquartered in Wauwatosa, Wis., has made a commitment to energy management "from top-to-bottom" by organizing employee energy teams at each of its facilities.

Industrial stock photo containing a woman and two men in hardhats and professional dress reviewing a clipboard held by the man in the middle.  In the background is a yellow piece of machinery and a building in the distance.

Richard Feustel, the corporate energy manager of Briggs & Stratton, has been instrumental in organizing these energy teams, which help to make employees more aware of the benefits of reduced energy usage. This is a practice that fits well with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's own goal of promoting a culture change by capturing hearts and minds. These energy teams are the driving force behind initiatives that have helped decrease Briggs & Stratton's energy costs while improving environmentally friendly practices. Their efforts have enabled the company to move quickly in adopting new technologies, and they continue to generate excitement for positive change among employees and consumers. Feustel has found that people's experience with energy management at home makes them more engaged and interested in contributing to energy management at work, where they become more comfortable asking questions about topics such as dimmable lights, motion sensors, and ways to turn down the thermostat.

Briggs & Stratton conducts a variety of events and initiatives to engage its consumers and employees. Along with sponsoring an Energy Awareness Fair and a compact fluorescent light bulb sale for employees, the company also promotes employee ride-share programs and conducts computer and electronics recycling efforts for employees and neighbors to help further solidify its commitment to sustainability. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the program, according to Feustel, the Briggs & Stratton Energy Team has implemented projects that have saved nearly 30.1 million kilowatt-hours over the last three years (7.8 million in 2007; 7.1 million in 2008; 15.2 million in 2009).

For more information, visit the Briggs & Stratton sustainability Web site at

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