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Kimberly-Clark Demand Response case study

Visualize data during dispatch on a 42-inch monitor at the plant entrance

Customer information

This Kimberly-Clark case study is based on a project developed in Enel X North America.



Kimberly-Clark is an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. With brands such as Kleenex and Huggies, Kimberly-Clark holds the top share position in more than 80 countries.

The need

Kimberly-Clark’s Canadian Huntsville mill, in the Muskoka tourism region of Ontario, makes Kleenex Facial Tissue, the Kleenex Pocket Pack, and Scott 1000 Bath Tissue. The Huntsville, Ontario mill is a 24/7 operation that manufactures large rolls of tissue and has several conversion operations that fold facial tissue, wind bath tissue, and package the products.


In 2010, Huntsville management entertained the idea of a 500 kW reduction in energy use at the plant in order to participate in demand response. Huntsville’s mill managers faced questions at first on whether the facility’s curtailment plan would conflict with its primary goal of making paper products. Some employees were at first skeptical as well.

The solution

Enel X visited the site to evaluate its energy use and determined that the 7 MW facility could reduce up to 5 MW during a demand response dispatch to maximize payments.  

After two successful dispatches, the Huntsville mill found that 5 MW was actually a conservative estimation and that the entire tissue machine could be shut down during a 4-hour dispatch to take a total of 5.3 MW off the grid. Because the Huntsville mill operates with in-process inventory on hand, the packaging operations can continue uninterrupted, even while the tissue machine is down.


To convince the doubting plant managers, Magistrale displayed the facility's electricity usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a 42-inch LCD monitor installed at the plant entrance. The screen also shows the potential load reduction and payments to be received during a demand response dispatch. While some employees were at first skeptical, the proof was in the numbers. “When I look at the numbers, it’s pretty easy,” said Magistrale.


The benefits

There are several benefits for Kimberly-Clark to participate in Demand Response.


From receiving regular payments that can be fed back into the mill’s infrastructure, to organizing the workflow of maintenance activities, to gaining an awareness of the status of Ontario’s power grid, demand response helps Huntsville remain competitive in energy efficiency and cost-savings relative to Kimberly-Clark’s other global operations.

  1. Regular facility maintenance lead to capital expenditures reduction
    Huntsville utilizes the 4 hours of downtime during a dispatch to perform standard required maintenance on the tissue machine. Regular maintenance on the machine is essential to prolonging its lifespan, and critical to avoid having to replace it. By performing maintenance during the dispatch periods, Kimberly-Clark not only prolongs the lifespan of its expensive equipment but also earns capacity payments at the same time. “Being able to take advantage of downtime has really helped us internally to get our maintenance act together,” said Anthony Magistrale, Electrical Engineer— Tissue Manufacturing, at the Hunstville mill. “And we didn’t have to invest in capital to make our operations more efficient.”

  2. Business intelligence
    “I’ve learned a lot about the electricity market,” said Magistrale.  “Knowing the status of the Ontario grid is really useful, and is something we’d never looked at before.” This is especially important for anticipating power interruptions and understanding the pricing and supply of electricity.

    Huntsville’s success with Demand Response has Magistrale thinking about what else he can do to optimize energy use at the plant. Enel X’s demand response application has given him and his team insights into how the facility utilizes energy, and Magistrale knows more changes can be made. “We’re looking at options for energy auditing, and we’re looking for efficiency improvements that would come out of those audits,” he said.

  3. Social Contributions to the Community
    The Huntsville feels that by participating in Demand Response, it is helping to maintain the stability of Ontario's electricity grid. By taking over 5 MW of load off the grid during peak usage periods, Huntsville can assist in balancing the supply and demand of electricity, enabling the grid to function smoothly without interruptions in service.

  4. Comprehensive approach to sustainability
    Kimberly-Clark’s corporate headquarters is committed to sustainability standards and now recognizes the Huntsville facility as a direct contributor to those goals.

    By participating in demand response, Huntsville has distinguished itself within the K-C portfolio as a leading energy-efficient facility.

  5. Introduce to other countries and plants
    Kimberly-Clark has expanded its Demand Response participation to other Countries. Its operations in Ingleburn, New South Wales, execute its energy reduction plan within 10 minutes of receiving dispatch instructions from Enel X, playing a valuable role in a program that helps prevent blackouts and receive earning payments through Demand Response programs.

Note:  In Japan, Enel X supports global and local customers to help them save on energy costs, earn a new revenue stream, and achieve carbon-neutral targets with customized products and services. Contact us to learn more.