Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas team up with WestRock to develop energy management plan

Sheldon, VT

Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas have joined forces to support the WestRock (formerly RockTenn) paper mill located in Sheldon, VT to achieve Superior Energy Performance (SEP) certification by the U.S. Department of Energy.

WestRock, an important employer and economic contributor in rural Franklin County, is developing an energy management plan with assistance from Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas aimed at reducing electric and natural gas consumption at their operation through a variety of energy efficiency measures.

It is the first collaboration of its kind in that it is a three-way partnership between Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas and their industrial customer to identify and implement customer-driven electric and thermal efficiencies.

In addition to developing an energy plan, the three parties have also agreed to co-fund a dedicated Energy Efficiency Project Manager to implement the plan and manage the collaborative process between the organizations. The Energy Efficiency Project Manager will be a WestRock employee.

WestRock will conduct a national search for a candidate to fill the Energy Efficiency Project Manager position, which will offer competitive pay and benefits.

“Efficiency is at the heart of operational excellence, which is something we constantly strive for at WestRock,” said Wade Taylor, General Manager, WestRock. “Driving toward energy efficiency is a natural extension of that goal and we are looking forward to getting to work.”

The SEP program was designed to drive systematic energy performance improvement across the U.S. manufacturing sector—significantly reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

“Companies like WestRock recognize the value of optimizing energy use,” said Mark Johnson, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office, U.S. Department of Energy. “SEP helps facilities in a wide range of industries and large energy users maximize energy productivity.” According to Johnson SEP participants have achieved:

  • 12% reduction in energy costs within 15 months of SEP implementation (on average)
  • 5% to 30% improvement in energy performance over three years
  • Paybacks of less than two and ½ years (in facilities with energy costs greater than $1.0 million annually) and even shorter payback periods as the facility energy costs rise.

 “To deliver the system-wide benefits of energy efficiency to all Vermonters, Efficiency Vermont relies on motivated, innovative customers like WestRock to set ambitious goals and commit the resources to achieving them.” said Efficiency Vermont Director Liz Gamache. “We are thankful for the strong working relationship we enjoy with WestRock and Vermont Gas, without which a collaboration of this magnitude would not be possible.”

“We are leading the charge towards a stronger economy powered by cleaner energy choices with partnerships like the one between WestRock, Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas. It is a prime example of how utilities and consumers can work together to invest in a cleaner future through energy innovation and efficiency,” said Don Rendall, President and CEO of Vermont Gas. “In the past year, Vermont Gas added almost 2,100 customers to our efficiency programs. These customers will both save money and avoid climate-changing emissions equivalent to the emissions from more than 1,000 cars.”

About Efficiency Vermont

As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 13.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award for the last eight consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to more affordable, low carbon energy use through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. Learn more at www.efficiencyvermont.com.

About Vermont Gas

Vermont Gas Systems is a leader in energy efficiency and innovation, offering a clean, safe, affordable choice for almost 50,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin and Chittenden counties. The company plays an important role in Vermont’s clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels and with its award-winning energy efficiency programs. For more information about Vermont Gas visit www.VermontGas.com.

About Efficiency Vermont

Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont's environment. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com.

Efficiency Vermont Press Contact
Matthew Smith
Phone: (802) 540-7662
[email protected]

Vermont Gas Systems
Beth Parent
Corporate Communications Manager
(802) 865-1460
[email protected]

Efficiency Vermont
Jeff Buell
(802) 540-7662
[email protected]