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Hotstart earns the 2022 Clean Air Award

Hotstart employees with award

Hotstart Thermal Management (Hotstart) has been selected for the 2022 Clean Air Award by the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (Spokane Clean Air).

“We are extremely pleased to recognize Hotstart with this year’s Clean Air Award. Not only do they demonstrate a strong commitment to local clean air efforts, but the company also has an 80-year history of designing and manufacturing products that improve air quality in communities across the globe,” said Scott Windsor, Spokane Clean Air’s Executive Director.

Hotstart was founded in Spokane in 1942 on the idea of developing a solution to keep a school bus engine warm and ready to start rather than idling when it was cold outside. Fast forward to 2022 and there are millions of Hotstart products installed on engines around the world reducing idling and providing clean, fast starts.

Over the years Hotstart has diversified their efforts. The company’s products can be found on buses, trucks, machinery, locomotives, ships, gas compressors, and emergency generators. Hotstart has also developed energy efficient block heaters for emergency generators. These products reduce electrical demand and emissions on startup, helping to keep the air cleaner and electricity available for other uses. Hotstart is expanding their offerings to include liquid cooling solutions for lithium-ion battery systems used to store solar and wind generated power.

In 2014, Hotstart partnered with Spokane Clean Air and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway to reduce harmful diesel emissions from 11 locomotive “switching” engines working in the Spokane and Pasco rail yards. The engines were retrofitted with Hotstart’s idle-reduction devices that keep engines warm and ready to restart when needed during the six-month, cold-weather operational period. This reduces the need to have engines idling to keep the prime mover of the locomotive from freezing while also reducing fuel and oil consumption, lowering emissions, and mitigating noise and engine wear. Annually, the retrofit project is estimated to reduce diesel particle emissions by 22 tons and saving of over 63,000 gallons of fuel.

Hotstart is one of over 600 facilities in Spokane County that are in Spokane Clean Air’s registration program. The company has a paint booth where coatings are applied to various parts used in their production. Paint booths in Spokane County are required to have air pollution controls to reduce emissions.

With firmly established roots in Spokane, Hotstart works to be good stewards of the local environment. The company is a participating customer of the Avista Solar Select Program since 2018, powering its headquarters from the solar electricity from the array in Lind, WA. Hotstart is also active in the Commute Trip Reduction program, providing work from home options for employees as well as encouraging bike-to-work and carpool alternatives. The company monitors the local Air Quality Index, as well as their inside air quality, and makes decisions that ensure employee health and safety. In 2021, the company installed several air scrubbers to improve indoor air quality.

Hotstart Chief Executive Officer Terry Judge accepted the award, stating, “On behalf of Hotstart, we thank Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency for this honor. I know our 200 employees will feel a great deal of pride in receiving this award. I’ve been so impressed with the support of Spokane Clean Air in the twenty years we’ve worked with them. Let’s continue to do the best we can for each other, our community, and the world.”

Pictured above center is Scott Windsor, Executive Director, Spokane Clean Air, with Hotstart’s management team, from left to right:
Kelly Jones, Quality Manager; Casey Hall, Product Strategist/Market Manager- Rail; Rob Goranson, CFO/ Production Manager; Greg Brain, Purchasing Manager; Terry Judge, CEO; (Scott Windsor, center); Greg Walters, Sales Manager; Josh Nichols, Commute Trip Reduction Representative; Joe Gaylord, Engineering Manager; Chris Beloit, Facilities Manager; and Tyler Saurini, Air Quality Representative.

The Clean Air Award is presented annually by Spokane Clean Air to publicly acknowledge a local business for their commitment to improve air quality and to encourage others to follow suit.