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Tusco Display

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Tusco Display’s facilities in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, are an impressive example of how investing in the energy efficiency of buildings can boost profits in a competitive market. The custom fabrication company has used energy efficiency as a strategy to lower costs, improve productivity, and remain competitive in a challenging commodity market with both domestic and international competition.

Through implementation of energy efficiency measures, Tusco has realised a 41.4% energy use reduction (7,272 MMBtu), equivalent to annual savings of $56,222 and present value of $438,789. Upgrades have been made throughout Tusco’s 108,000 square feet of manufacturing space, encompassing the building envelope, lighting, and HVAC systems, as well as the addition of a 15kW solar array. Savings have also been achieved by retiring older equipment and optimising operations within the facility, which has allowed the company to work more efficiently even as its workforce and sales have grown.


Building information

Locations: Gnadenhutten, Ohio, and New Philadelphia, Ohio

Building Type: Industrial/Manufacturing

Size: Two one-story facilities (92,517 square feet and 15,000 square feet), for a total of 108,000 square feet

Year Built: Initially constructed in 1948 (in Gnadenhutten) and 1980 (in New Philadelphia), with various improvements made from 1946 to 1988


Efficiency and operational improvements

Lighting upgrades including LEDs and T5 bulbs

HVAC retrofits including a ground-source heat pump and new overhead heaters.

Building envelope improvements including above deck roof insulation, glass block windows

15kW solar PV array

New manufacturing equipment and processes

Reorganisation of facility to more efficiently use space


Key results

Reduced energy use by 41.4% over 10 years through a combination of efficiency measures and operational improvements. Electricity and gas use declined over that period by 26% and 47%t, respectively.

Annual savings of $56,222 compared to the 2003 baseline, and present value of 10 years of savings is over $438,789, using a 5% discount rate.

Greatly improved work environment due to lighting retrofit and HVAC improvements.

Operational efficiencies that result in more efficient use of production space.


For further information and details, you can download the relevant report elaborated by the Institute for Market Transformation (ICM) here.

Lessons learnt

The retrofits to Tusco Displays’ facilities demonstrate that building performance for industrial users can be significantly improved, while adding value to the enterprise and underlying real estate. By improving its building, Tusco also improved its competitive position in a tough international market. Energy efficiency in the industrial sector improves bottom line company value, both at the asset and enterprise levels.

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