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Sponsored by: Tecogen
September 25, 2023

CT Manufacturers Cut Energy Costs by 40-60% Despite Rising Utility Rates

Connecticut businesses pay over 40% higher electric rates than the national average. With the fifth highest commercial rates in the US, how are high energy using manufacturers expected to keep their lights on and maintain a long-term successful business? Two Connecticut-based manufacturing facilities found a solution in utilizing Tecogen’s engine-driven heat-recovery chillers to supply their process cooling and thermal loads. Since 2015 and 2020, Kongsberg Automotive and Culture Fresh Foods have found a 40-60% reduction in their energy costs from simply replacing or augmenting their existing electric cooling and refrigeration systems with Tecogen’s energy saving products.

Powered by natural gas rather than electricity, engine-driven chillers provide cooling at a significantly lower cost than is possible with electrically powered chillers. Additional efficiency gains and operating cost savings are found when capturing and utilizing the free waste heat that’s available from the chillers’ engines. This production of chilled water for cooling and recovered waste heat makes Tecogen’s chillers more than twice as efficient as a conventional electrical chiller. For Culture Fresh Foods, the free heat is applied to the yogurt making process, cleaning in place systems, and their wash down needs, relegating the existing gas boilers to a back-up role. Other common utilizations include supplying domestic hot water, dehumidification, and process heating.

“We found with utility costs rising year to year, Tecogen’s energy saving solutions can have a huge impact in creating cost efficient manufacturing facilities,” according to Abinand Rangesh, CEO at Tecogen. “As an environmentally conscious manufacturer ourselves, we wanted a solution that also helped with the greenhouse gas footprint. Unlike buying power from the utility, which provides electricity at a relatively low efficiency (35-40%), our products are achieving efficiencies of over 80% by using the heat byproduct while cutting associated GHG emissions by approximately 50%.”

When compared to electric alternatives, installation is simple, and the footprint and connections are similar; the only difference being the use of low-pressure gas rather than expensive electricity. In manufacturing facilities, resiliency is critical and Tecogen’s gas products maintain strict operation environments with minimal required electricity. A Tecochill chiller only requires 1-2 kW of electricity to power controls and ancillary equipment. By contrast, a comparable electric chiller would require 190-300 kW of electricity to operate. In the event of an electric grid outage, a downsized back-up generator is enough to maintain chilled and hot water production. The products are also being supported by a 24/7 local factory service center based in East Windsor, CT.

As a result of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Tecogen’s equipment qualifies for the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). There is a base 30% tax credit with a bonus of 10% for being made in the US, totaling 40% saving on project costs. In many cases, projects have paybacks that are 3 years or less.

For more information, please contact Brain Cullinane at brianc@clover-corporation or visit

About Tecogen and Clover Corporation

Tecogen Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, and maintains high efficiency, ultra-clean, cogeneration products including engine-driven combined heat and power, air conditioning systems, and high-efficiency water heaters for residential, commercial, recreational, and industrial use. Clover Corp. is a manufacturer’s representative of HVAC products based in East Hartford, CT. In business together for over 30 years, Tecogen and Clover Corporation have shipped to the likes of UCONN, the State of CT, and several hospitals, all supported by an established network of engineering, sales, and service personnel in Connecticut and across the United States.