October 13, 2011 in Business



North Wind Group opens Kellogg office

A Southern Idaho company that does environmental remediation work in the Coeur d’Alene Basin has opened a Kellogg office and launched a subsidiary that will specialize in heavy construction.

North Wind Group of Idaho Falls already employs about 50 people in the Silver Valley, said Ann Riedesel, company spokeswoman.

The company’s new subsidiary, North Wind Construction Services LLC, will specialize in heavy construction with an emphasis on environmental restoration. Six people work for the subsidiary, with employment expected to double or triple within a year, Riedesel said. In addition to work in the Coeur d’Alene Basin, the new subsidiary will look for other business opportunities in other states, she said.

Becky Kramer

Sonderen Packaging, Hotstart honored

Two Spokane-area manufacturing companies were among seven honored Tuesday night by the Association of Washington Business.

Hotstart Inc., a 60-year-old Spokane Valley company that makes engine block heaters for diesel locomotives, was honored for innovation. The heaters allow an engine to be shut down while not in use, preventing costly idling.

Spokane-based Sonderen Packaging Inc., which makes paperboard and cardboard cartons, was named “green manufacturer” of the year because of practices such as buying materials certified by sustainable forestry organizations and using soy-based printing inks.

The manufacturing awards were presented in conjunction with the first Inland Manufacturing Expo, sponsored by Greater Spokane Inc.

The business association said in a news release, “Despite grave economic challenges, each of these seven companies has continued to find new and better ways to deliver a better product, improve production and find ways to conserve resources.”

Staff report

Northwest conserved 254 megawatts

The Pacific Northwest had a record year for energy conservation in 2010, saving enough megawatts to provide power for 153,900 homes.

The 254 megawatts saved is the single largest one-year gain in energy efficiency in the past 30 years, surpassing the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s goal by 25 percent. The council tracks energy efficiency.

Ratepayers saved approximately $135 million from energy efficiencies. The savings are calculated based on surveys of the region’s electric utilities, the Bonneville Power Administration and others.

About half of the savings occurred at commercial businesses and industries. Improvements to residential lighting accounted for another 28 percent. Replacing water heaters, furnaces, washers and other appliances with energy- efficient models accounted for another 18 percent. More than 90 energy-efficiency measures are tracked, including installation of programmable thermostats, adding insulation and replacing machinery.

Becky Kramer

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