Climate Change

Hunter Solar Panels on Campus
Hunter's Distribution Center

Climate Change

Last May, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million. The last time CO2 levels were 400 ppm and temperatures then were six degrees warmer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expects these changes due to Climate Change:

  • Increase Earth's average temperature
  • Influence the patterns and amounts of precipitation
  • Reduce ice and snow cover, as well as permafrost
  • Raise sea level
  • Increase the acidity of the oceans

Warming temperatures with changes in frequency and amount of precipitation will affect watersheds and storage throughout the world, causing more severe drought and floods. Climate change will have a direct effect on Hunter Industries, which relies on healthy watersheds and storage infrastructure for the vitality of its irrigation business.

Energy Use

Our utilization of fossil fuel energy sources that emit CO2 in the atmosphere cause the greenhouse gas effect that is resulting in climate change. We have a goal to achieve a GHG intensity of .21 CO2e/build dollar. Our current GHG intensity is .30 CO2e/build dollar. As we improve our GHG emissions tracking, and to include future company growth we determined CO2e/build dollar is the best way to track our GHG emissions. Build dollars includes all material inputs into our product and is most representive of our businesses energy use. Lowering our GHG intensity will be achieved by installing more renewable energy on campus, improving our efficiencies, and purchasing green energy. 

Energy Use

 2012  2013
30000250002000015000100005000MWh 0
    Natural Gas
    LP Gas
2012 TOTAL
46,213 MWh
2013 TOTAL
47,793 MWh


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Construction Projects

In 2013, Hunter Industries constructed the most square footage in its 32 year history.  Projects included building a second 161,300 square foot plant in Mexico, installing a solar shade structure, and rehabilitating a 29-year-old building to bring all of Hunter Engineering under one roof.

This January, Hunter Mexico opened manufacturing plant #2, a state of the art facility, which includes FX Luminaire and custom molding. Construction on the plant was completed on time and under budget. Plant #2 includes daylight harvesting skylights, connection to the gray-water system, and high-efficiency lighting. 

The new engineering facility provides workspace for 81 department personnel.  Where previously engineering was spread among 3 buildings, housing all engineering in one building improves collaboration.  The new facility provides the latest technology for R&D and testing. 

Last year, we installed 120kWs of Solar panels that provide shade for our San Marcos Headquarters main parking lot. Our new solar shade structure includes 576 solar panels and powers 35% of our LEED Silver Drip and Sprays Manufacturing building. The panels also power four electric vehicle charging stations available to employees. 

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Energy Savings Projects

Mexico finished an extensive lighting retrofit of plant number one. By replacing 264 Highbay Metal Halide fixtures with energy efficient T8 fluorescent lighting, Hunter Mexico reduced its energy consumption by 388,850 kWh, saving 387,000 pounds of CO2.

During the engineering building remodel, extensive measures were put in place to ensure efficient use of energy. To better utilize energy, new HVAC systems and daylight harvesting skylights were installed. To ensure no energy is wasted, the facility has dual pane glass windows and new insulation. This has resulted in a reduced gas consumption of 16,000 therms offsetting our carbon emissions by 183,467 pounds. 

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Energy Generated on Campus

Hunter's vertical integration includes energy production. At our San Marcos campus we have five engines and 1,720 solar panels rated at 306 kW; generating power on site provides energy with lower transmission losses. At Hunter, the cogeneration plant provides chilled water, domestic hot water, steam, and hydraulic power all from a single energy source – natural gas.

Hunter San Marcos Energy Generated onsite 
mwh   2012 2013
Electricity Generated by Cogeneration 3,885 3,891
Solar power for Warehouse-Marketing 153 160
Total for Hunter consumption 4,038 4,050
% of Total Electric Use 8.7% 8.5%

Our LEED Gold distribution center includes two separate photovoltaic systems. The first is an 84 kilowatt system that provides 100% of the energy needed for lighting the distribution center. The second is a 102 KW system owned by SDG&E that provides locally-generated power back to the surrounding community.

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ASHRAE Level 2 Audit

This year we partnered with a green engineering and consulting firm to perform an ASHRAE Level 2 Audit of our San Marcos campus. ASHRAE is a society focused on advancing the built environment. A Level 2 audit includes a detailed walk through of our facilities and operations followed by detailed calculations to identify inefficiencies. Using the efficiency analysis the consultants provide site-specific operating cost and resource savings measures.

Measures we are considering:

  • Replace HVAC units over 18 years old
  • Replace T12s and high pressure sodium lighting on campus
  • Identify pumping inefficiencies at our test facility
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Looking Forward

  • Implementation of most feasible measures from ASHRAE Level 2 Audit
  • Increase renewable energy generation
  • Pursue LEED certification for retrofit and new buildings
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