Total Energy Management is celebrating more than 30 years of growth with a move into a new facility at 2521 Stevens Drive in Richland.
The company moved to its expanded facility in September from its previous location at the Richland Airport.
In August 2016, the company bought an existing 7,500-square-foot office building from the Port of Benton and last September built an adjacent 23,500-square-foot warehouse and fabrication facility. The new building was completed this spring.
The new building at 2531 Stevens Drive houses the warehousing and purchasing departments, process controls division and a complete sheet metal fabrication facility.
The existing office building at 2521 Stevens Drive houses the operations and management team.
“We were maxed out at our old facility with just about 7,000 square feet total of space, we needed more footprint and more real estate,” said Aaron DeWitt, principal at Total Energy Management.
DeWitt said the company also needed more space to accommodate growth in its fabrication division, which builds all the products for its commercial heating ventilation and air conditioning division, such as sheet metal, industrial ventilation and ducting.
“We were looking to expand our overall footprint for storing and staging equipment purchases, and for our vehicles,” he said. “We felt for us to expand our service offerings, we had to expand operations to support that growth. We felt like we couldn’t service additional volume, increase fabrication and production through-put in our old facility.”
Teton West was the main contractor for the project and Jason Archibald with ALD Architects in Richland was the architectural designer. The total cost of the project was roughly $1.2 million.
In 1984, Roger and Lin DeWitt founded Total Energy Management. Back then the company focused exclusively on industrial refrigeration services.
In 2010, the couple’s sons Aaron and Brad DeWitt bought the company from their father. The brothers have been part of the business for 22 years.
Since its origin, Total Energy Management has greatly diversified to include mechanical, electrical and process control services. This includes complete process controls development, design, fabrication, implementation to HVAC direct digital controls, and also system integration and automation.
“It’s a pretty neat division we added back in 1995. We were both electrical designers and engineers,” Aaron DeWitt said. “We maintain our Underwriters Laboratories licenses and we fill UL control panels for everything from fruit processing to waste water treatment plants. It’s a pretty neat division.”
The company’s service area covers a 400-mile radius from northern Washington to central Oregon. It specializes in working on large school projects, municipal building expansions and retail centers.
It also does residential work. Total Energy Management services anywhere from 250 to 300 new homes every year along with existing residential replacement, upgrades and maintenance contracts.
The business currently employs 96 people.
Over the years, Total Energy Management has been active in the community through various partnerships, sponsorships and its own 501(c)3 organization, TEM Community Giving Foundation. The brothers started the nonprofit after their mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2004.
“We wanted to raise money and give back to the community and especially to families going through similar hardships as us,” Aaron DeWitt said. “We’ve sponsored various events, and put on our flagship event: the TEM Softball Bash for Cancer.”
Total Energy Management raised nearly $40,000 from that event alone and nearly $300,000 since starting the foundation. Though the company hasn’t hosted the softball tournament in the last five years, the brothers are hoping instead to focus on local charities like Wishing Star, which focuses on alleviating the burden for families with a family member facing a cancer diagnosis.
Over the years, Total Energy Management has sponsored families in need during the Christmas season, participated in employee food drives for the food bank and sponsored local youth sports teams.
“We’ve raised money and knocked on strangers’ doors for families that were battling life-threatening illnesses and taken a little bit of pressure off and relieved some of those stresses,” Aaron DeWitt said.
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