Large Vermont companies look to save money, cut carbon at Efficiency Vermont conference
Many of Vermont’s largest employers gathered this week to learn the next steps they can take to lower their energy costs and reduce carbon emissions associated with the energy use.
Nearly 200 participants from dozens of Vermont companies attended Wednesday’s 8th Annual Best Practices Exchange (BPX), a conference organized by Efficiency Vermont to bring the state’s largest energy users together for a day of learning, idea sharing, and networking.
The conference kicked off with a keynote address from Efficiency Vermont Director Rebecca Foster, who highlighted how energy developments are creating opportunities for large energy customers. An influx of clean, renewable power, advanced building control technologies, and more energy efficient equipment all provide cost and energy savings that keep businesses competitive.
“Today’s conference is about focusing on the intersection between energy and the economy, celebrating job creation resulting from the energy efficiency work that large businesses invest in, and exploring how using energy wisely we can drive economic development in our state,” said Foster, who also shared findings of a recent study that shows Vermont now has 1,500 businesses that offer energy efficiency products and services, and employ more than 11,000 workers.
The conference hosted large facility managers from organizations around the state, including ski areas, hospitals, manufacturers, and colleges, who participated in a range of workshops on the latest technologies and practices available to help them better manage their energy use to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Efficiency Vermont recognized businesses who demonstrated leadership in energy management at the event. The 2018 Award recipients are listed below.
Energy Leadership Awards
Institutions: Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC), Rutland
RRMC upgraded its ventilation system that helps increase equipment reliability in the operating room while also improving patient comfort. The work will result in an estimated $90,000 in annual energy savings. Current and future efforts include integrating heat pump technology in a new medical office building, HVAC optimization, boiler control upgrade, LED lighting, and a window replacement project.
Manufacturing: Ben & Jerry’s, St. Albans
Ben & Jerry’s added a new line to their production facility that included numerous high-efficiency components, saving the plant millions of kilowatt-hours of electricity each year and substantially decreasing carbon emissions. The new production line includes optimized ammonia-based refrigeration, refrigeration control strategies, oversized condensers, efficiency compressors, LED lighting, and efficient HVAC.
Commercial: Shaw’s Supermarkets, 19 Vermont locations
Shaw’s Supermarket has been a leader in energy efficiency retrofits in their Vermont stores, investing in more efficient heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, enclosed refrigerated cases, and advanced controllers on their freezer doors. On average, stores are realizing a 33% reduction in electric costs from these initiatives.
Innovation: Keurig Dr. Pepper, Essex Junction
Keurig Dr. Pepper completed a comprehensive lighting retrofit at the Essex facility, replacing 537 fluorescent light fixtures with LEDs and installing a LightRules control system for dimming and occupancy sensing. Staff utilized data from the LightRules system to continuously refine and optimize light settings, achieving a 1.2 million kilowatt-hour/year energy savings.
Impact: Long Falls Paperboard, Brattleboro
Since beginning operations in January 2019, Long Falls Paperboard has collaboratively developed energy projects including burner upgrades, pipe insulation, refiner upgrades, compressed air reductions, water and wastewater reductions, variable frequency drives (VFDs), and metering equipment to participate in a demand response program with Green Mountain Power.
Partner of the Year: DuBois & King, South Burlington
Dubois & King has long committed its building engineering services to promoting and implementing responsible energy practices, including conservation measures, energy efficiency, and sustainable design principles. Their engineers work with clients to strategize and prioritize infrastructure investment.
Energy Champion: Tyson Moulton, Northwestern Medical Center, St. Albans
Tyson Moulton has led numerous energy projects that demonstrate his commitment to energy management and sustainability at Northwestern Medical Center. Under his leadership the hospital has achieved $60,000 in annual energy savings. Future upgrades are planned for the Emergency Department, kitchen ventilation, data/IT center cooling, and HVAC optimization.
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 seven 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.
Phone: (802) 540-7662