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Lighting is at the core of VT Cider Co.'s savings

2 min read
Middlebury, VT

Vermont Cider Co.’s warehouse is a clean, sweet-smelling space stacked high with cider (including their flagship brand, Woodchuck). Hard cider is a fast-growing market in the U.S., and Vermont Cider Co. is one of the leaders. Until recently, though, outdated, inefficient lighting was slowing them down.

“The bulbs were burning out faster than we could replace them. And the fixtures hung so low we'd occasionally clip one with a forklift.”

Ron Coble, Warehouse Manager, Vermont Cider Co.

Dying or burnt out bulbs meant that lighting conditions were usually poor in the warehouse. The hard-pressed staff relied on headlamps to do inventory. The few lights that did work were on nearly all the time, wasting energy and money.

These days, all that has changed. Working with Efficiency Vermont and a certified lighting designer, Vermont Hard Cider transformed their warehouse into a well-lit, well-functioning space. After replacing existing lighting with high-efficiency upgrades, the team added controls to better manage the lighting throughout the warehouse. Now, the overhead lights turn on when they detect motion, then off again ten minutes later. It’s made an impact: inventory is faster and more accurate, and missed shipments or incorrectly filled orders are down.

“Controls just make sense in a warehouse. Really the only time we need lights is doing inventory or getting product for shipments. Now they’re on when we need them, and off when we don’t.”

Ron Coble, Warehouse Manager, Vermont Cider Co.

Plus, it’s more welcoming – for staff and guests. New high-efficiency lighting in the parking lot (courtesy of the building owner, in partnership with Efficiency Vermont) means employees can enjoy a well-lit working environment from the moment they park their car in the morning to the moment they drive off at night. The visitor’s center resembles an old Vermont barn, but its robust insulation means you won’t feel a draft inside. And the state of the art cider-making equipment not only saves energy, but also pasteurizes without using chemicals: a win in anyone’s book.

Project partners

CED Twinstate (South Burlington)
Adams Electric (Middlebury)