The Columbia River Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE CRC), a professional organization dedicated to implementing energy efficient technologies, announced the winners of Wrench of the Year Award 2016: Andy Hart, Engineering Technician at Owens Corning; and Vlad Davidovich, Facilities Technician at Blount International. The Wrench of the Year Award honors two true «wrenches» – folks diligently working in the ducts, rafters, floors and trenches to make machines run right and tight. The awards are given to personnel working in facility management where their work contributed significantly to energy efficiency improvement during the award year.

Winners are involved in day-to-day management of facility operations, efficiency measures or procedures, and their work has demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement in energy efficiency. “They are all deserving and it is difficult to pick just two from such a strong field,” said past Wrench winner, Don Eaton of Darigold. Jason Jepsen, member of AEE CRC, adds, “The Wrench of the Year Award seeks to recognize the grit and gristle of successful energy system improvements. It’s where the rubber meets the road, the details that matter and need to happen. Who is going the extra mile to keep machines and operations on tack?”

Andy Hart looked to ambient conditions for 20% electricity savings. Tracking and tuning, he optimized heat-activated ink drying and shrink wrap processes. He also proposed and evaluated evaporative cooling for process water avoiding a mechanical chiller purchase and operation. Vlad Davidovich likewise found energy savings in setpoints adjustments, variable speed drives and attentive plant operation. Recent projects include Strategic Energy Management, custom programming of air handlers and a heat recovery chiller, combined saving over 4 million kilowatt-hours.

The Wrench of the Year Award includes an attractive trophy, a $500 check, the Commercial Energy Auditing Reference Handbook (donated by Fairmont Press), and the responsibility of helping to select next year’s winners. The trophy is beautiful enough to mount in the living room, yet useful enough for the shop. The 12″ Blue-Pointe crescent wrench is fastened with powerful magnets, allowing quick removal for energy efficiency improvements. The winners were nominated and selected by peers working in the energy field, and honored at the AEE CRC Annual Holiday party at Lompoc Brewery’s Sidebar.


Columbia River Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE CRC) is dedicated to helping its members and community implement energy efficient technologies to reduce expenses, improve the environment, and bolster our economy. It invites companies and affiliates to join the organization to network with industry peers, discuss projects, develop leads, encourage energy efficient design and discover new energy procurement strategies. Learn more at