Marberry Cleaners

High-efficiency washer improves overhead, labor and production costs

Energy efficient equipment helps dry cleaner earn 100% on garment analysis test

Marberry Cleaners and Launderers was established in 1911 as full service dry cleaner, launderer and furrier. Today, it’s a third-generation cleaning company with an emphasis on dry cleaning home delivery and commercial laundry, with locations in St. Charles, Geneva, Aurora, North Aurora, Lombard, Barrington and Glen Ellyn.

Over three years, the small business researched and planned for an equipment overhaul at their commercial laundry in North Aurora, which included investing in washers. Part of that research involved ways to reduce energy consumption.

“We use a lot water, electricity and natural gas. There’s no way around it. But through our research, we learned that we could optimize the way we use energy with energy efficiency equipment,” said David Marberry, Marberry Cleaners & Launderers partner.

David received the idea about energySMART from an equipment manufacturer, and while the build out and installation took a year to complete, the cleaners applied for and received $54,443 in rebates from energySMART for a tunnel washer at their North Aurora location.

“When you work with energySMART’s energy advisors, they’re looking out for you because they’re looking to maximize your incentive,” David said.

The tunnel washer handles heavy duty laundry loads and replaces the traditional free-standing washers and dryers.

“With this new equipment, fully sorted laundry continuously comes out every 2 minutes. The old equipment, ran separate 45 minute start to finish loads. There is also drastic reduction in double sorting laundry,” said Shonda Biddle, energySMART energy advisor. “This speeds up production for Marberry by twice amount of loads each day.”

A tunnel washer costs approximately $1.1 million and has a lifecycle of 20-25 years. The $54,443 rebate helped Marberry offset the cost of their investment.

“Estimated therm savings are approximately 54,443 therms,” Shonda said.

David said that energySMART has raised his awareness of energy efficiency and how much energy his business consumes. After speaking with Shonda about the additional programs and speaking with plant managers, he found that one of the boilers is very clean and the other one had a little bit of soot—indicating that it’s probably not burning at maximum efficiency. So David partnered with energySMART again for a boiler tune-up, pipe insulation and a steam trap survey in early 2015.

“Energy efficiency is just good business practice. It incentivizes us to look under the hood a little further. This equipment and these upgrades are a competitive advantage,” David said.

Ultimately, the incentives from energySMART were the deciding factor in the project to coming to life. But Marberry continues to reap the benefits for energy efficiency.

“I know we made the right choice. We took a lot of risk. But knowing we would get a rebate was the deciding factor. We routinely send out swatches of linens to independent labs.  With our new equipment, we received 100/100. That’s incredible. That score is a result of our new tunnel washer."