An automated-demand-response program managed by Honeywell is the recipient of the Energy Project of the Year award from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Southern California Chapter.

The program allows construction-industry-supplies manufacturer Custom Building Products precise control over how its 142,000-sq-ft Bell, Calif., manufacturing facility uses energy, enabling it to respond automatically to changing peak electricity prices and trim utility bills.

The award recognizes the project for its high level of substantiated savings, which will enable the work to pay for itself within an estimated five months. Custom Building Products offset the $80,000 total project cost with rebates from Southern California Edison (SCE) and support from a Smart Grid Investment Grant Honeywell received from the Department of Energy in 2009. Those funds lowered out-of-pocket expenses to less than $3,000. Custom Building Products expects to realize $6,000 in annual energy savings.

Engineers installed technology to enable the facility’s existing automation system to receive and respond to price signals SCE sends using the Akuacom Demand Response Automation Server from Honeywell. The smart-grid software automatically triggers load-shedding measures Custom Building Products and Honeywell developed and programmed in advance. This includes safely shutting down all but two manufacturing lines during a peak pricing event to save costs while maintaining adequate production levels.

“This project enabled us to optimize our production lines to react to dynamic pricing, maximizing our energy savings in the process,” Jim Bell, facilities and maintenance manager for Custom Building Products, said. “Honeywell also uncovered energy-efficiency opportunities while helping implement our complex automation strategies, which will lead to both short-term and permanent cost savings.”

As a result of the Honeywell’s automated-demand-response strategies, Custom Building Products can shed more than 330 kw of its typical 520-kw load during events for substantial savings.

Additionally, Honeywell centralized energy management at the facility, enabling better monitoring and control of automated load reductions and helping Custom Building Products meet Air Quality Management District standards in Southern California.