Champlain Orchards is one of the oldest operating orchards in Vermont. It’s also one of the most energy efficient apple growing enterprises in the Green Mountain State, thanks to new refrigeration and cold storage technology made possible by partnering with Efficiency Vermont.
Bill Suhr has owned the orchard since 1998, which consists of over 220 acres of fruit trees. The Champlain Orchard team manages and harvests over 100 varieties of apples, as well as peaches, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines, and berries.
Champlain Orchards has made many investments in energy efficiency, including:
- New electric compressors, pumps, fans, and lights
- Five insulated refrigeration rooms to store up to two-and-a-half million pounds of apples
- Automatic “electric eye” door sensors to keep atmosphere-controlled air from escaping the long-term apple storage rooms
These investments will help save the orchard $35,000 a year in energy costs. Champlain Orchards is planning to make more storage facility improvements, office space enhancements, and upgrades to the walk-in display refrigerator in the farm store. Those updates will create another estimated $15,000 in annual energy cost savings.
“I hope our focus on long-term saving will make the orchard fruitful for decades to come,” said Suhr.