Vermont’s leading companies join Efficiency Vermont energy program


Two-Year Efficiency Vermont Program Aims to Reduce Energy Consumption by 7.5%

December 8, 2011 – Sixty of Vermont’s largest commercial, industrial, municipal, and institutional energy users have joined Efficiency Vermont’s Energy Leadership Challenge, a two-year effort to reduce energy use at participating organizations by 7.5 percent.

The Energy Leadership Challenge is designed not only to reduce current energy use at some of Vermont’s largest facilities, but also for participants to commit to long-term energy planning that will result in further energy and operating cost reductions. Efficiency Vermont provides enhanced resources, both technical and financial, to help participants achieve their energy-reduction goals by June 30, 2013.

For Vermont’s largest energy consumers, the Energy Leadership Challenge has the potential to save more than 28 million KWh, approximately 1.5 to 2.0 times greater than the average annual savings for this sector. Most of the participating organizations already have achieved significant energy savings by working with Efficiency Vermont. Their shared commitment to a 7.5 percent reduction requires them to go beyond the “low-hanging fruit” of energy savings and take major steps to increase efficiencies that will help them reach the Energy Leadership Challenge goal.

“These organizations are the leaders, the engines of our economy, and we’re proud to serve as energy consultants to help them run their facilities more efficiently,” said Jim Merriam, director of Efficiency Vermont. “To help Vermont’s businesses stay competitive in a global marketplace, we created the Energy Leadership Challenge that inspires long-term energy planning and significant energy savings.”

According to a recent analysis commissioned by the Vermont Department of Public Service, every dollar spent on energy efficiency provides nearly $5.00 in benefits to Vermonters. These savings can be reinvested back into growing Vermont’s economy and helping Vermonters become more energy efficient.

Following are short profiles of a few of the Energy Leadership Challenge participants.

Vermed, Inc.

Based in Bellows Falls, the manufacturer of high-quality medical sensors and electrodes has worked for years with Efficiency Vermont to reduce energy usage and costs at its 48,000 square foot facility. According to Vermed, it recently hit a five-year low for energy use in the same month that it produced and shipped a record number of products. Vermed’s electric bills are down 25-30 percent, saving the company $3,000 per month.

“Efficiency Vermont helps us dig deep in the manufacturing process, and we really value their expertise,” said Rich Kalich, chairman and CEO of Vermed. “They understand that the cost of power will continue to rise, so if you don’t invest in efficiency you’re actually losing money. Efficiency Vermont helps our business, and many others like ours around the state, be more competitive.”

National Life Group

When the National Life Group decided to participate in the Energy Leadership Challenge, it was already saving more than 1.3 million KWh and almost $200,000 annually thanks to previous lighting and other energy-efficiency projects.

Headquartered in a 60-year-old building, National Life’s goal is to reduce its operational costs and lessen its environmental impact. The company is working with Efficiency Vermont on a comprehensive study that will provide a blueprint for future energy-efficiency savings and continuous improvement.

Tim Shea, who manages the National Life Group facilities, recently took a field trip with Efficiency Vermont account manager Mike Leonard to an Albany-area business that had realized significant energy savings by eliminating overhead lighting. National Life plans to move forward with a similar project involving reduced overhead lighting, occupancy sensors, and daylight harvesting. Not having to upgrade the wiring in the ceiling of the circa 1950s building also will reduce costs.

“National Life Group understands that Efficiency Vermont plays a key role for Vermont businesses as energy consultants,” said Mike Leonard. “If that means a field trip to Albany to highlight how another business is saving energy, we hop in the car. By involving Efficiency Vermont early and often in the energy-efficiency discussions, National Life Group continues to maximize its energy and financial savings.”

Green Mountain College

Green Mountain College has been one of Sierra Magazine’s “Coolest Schools” (for environmental programming and operations) two years in a row. The school’s biomass plant produces 85 percent of its heat and 20 percent of the electricity it needs to run its Poultney operations. Efficiency Vermont has advised the school, providing technical and financial assistance, on many campus projects in recent years.

Green Mountain College recently launched a dashboard that displays real-time electricity use in residence halls and keeps tabs on the energy produced by its new biomass facility. The display allows administrators – and students – to track and identify ways to save energy on campus.

“Efficiency Vermont works with us as a partner, helping to design and implement projects to maximize energy efficiency on campus,” said Paul Fonteyn, president of Green Mountain College. “In turn, this helps us achieve our goal of attracting academically-motivated students who want to pursue their education in a sustainable environment.”

University Mall

The University Mall in South Burlington worked with Efficiency Vermont to upgrade lighting in its parking facilities, resulting in a 42 percent decrease in energy consumption in the first month after the installation. Ultimately, the energy-efficient LEDs in the parking garage could save 50 percent in electrical expenses.

“We consider Efficiency Vermont an amazing resource for energy savings,” said Jason Steward, property manager for Finard Properties. “We joined the Energy Leadership Challenge because Efficiency Vermont has always been extremely knowledgeable and helpful, acting as outside advisors on any energy-related project. We want to do more to reduce our energy costs and footprint.”

Barry Callebaut USA
“It’s all about getting better – we cannot afford to slow down,” said Marc Ladd, maintenance manager for Barry Callebaut USA. Ladd manages the company’s 150,000 square foot facility in St. Albans.

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, frequently shares its St. Albans energy-efficiency successes with colleagues in its plants across North America. Barry Callebaut has been working with Efficiency Vermont since 2005 on projects including lighting, heating and cooling, motors, and compressed air that save the company 1.5 million KWh per year and more than $117,000.

“We’ve had a great experience with Efficiency Vermont and look forward to continuing our successes with the Energy Leadership Challenge,” noted Ladd. “They understand our holistic approach to plant operations, helping us to improve our own processes that we can then share across the company.”

Basin Harbor Club

“Basin Harbor Club joined the Energy Leadership Challenge because we saw an opportunity to not only save a significant amount of energy and money, but also to show other Vermont businesses and our guests that we’re serious about our energy resources and energy efficiency,” said Brian Goodyear, director of engineering and technical services.

To date, the work with Efficiency Vermont at the Lake Champlain resort has largely focused on installing more efficient lighting that has resulted in lower energy bills. Goodyear and his team at Basin Harbor Club are currently looking at installing energy meters on specific buildings to identify opportunities for more savings as part of the Energy Leadership Challenge.

“Increasingly, groups and associations staying at Basin Harbor Club ask us about our carbon footprint and energy stewardship, and our work with Efficiency Vermont helps demonstrate that we’re responsible stewards of Vermont’s natural resources,” added Goodyear.

The list of organizations that have taken on the Energy Leadership Challenge to date includes:

· Barry Callebaut USA, Inc. (St. Albans)

· Basin Harbor Club (Vergennes)

· Bennington College (Bennington)

· Black River Produce (North Springfield)

· Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (Berlin)

· Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (Brattleboro)

· Brattleboro Retreat (Brattleboro)

· Bromley Mountain Ski Resort (Peru)

· Carris Reels, Inc. (Rutland)

· Castleton State College (Castleton)

· Central Vermont Medical Center (Barre)

· Dynapower Corporation (South Burlington)

· Energizer Battery Manufacturing Company (Bennington)

· Energizer Battery Manufacturing Company (St. Albans)

· Fairbanks Scales (St. Johnsbury)

· G.S. Precision, Inc. (Brattleboro)

· Gifford Medical Center (Randolph)

· Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury)

· Green Mountain College (Poultney)

· GW Plastics, Inc. (Bethel)

· Harbour Industries, Inc. (Shelburne)

· HEI Equinox LLC (Manchester)

· Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. (Milton)

· Imerys Talc America, Inc. (Ludlow)

· Killington Pico Ski Resort Partners LLC (Killington)

· King Arthur Flour (Norwich)

· Kurn Hattin Homes (Westminster)

· Landmark College (Putney)

· Lovejoy Tool (Springfield)

· Lucas Industries (North Springfield)

· Lyndon State College (Lyndonville)

· Mack Molding Company, Inc. (Arlington)

· Mack Molding Company, Inc. (Cavendish)

· Middlebury College (Middlebury)

· Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Center (Windsor)

· Mount Snow (West Dover)

· National Hanger, Inc. (North Bennington)

· National Life Group (Montpelier)

· Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (St. Johnsbury)

· Norwich University (Northfield)

· Okemo Mountain Resort (Ludlow)

· Preci-Manufacturing, Inc. (Winooski)

· Putney Paper Company, Inc. (Putney)

· Rock of Ages Corporation (Graniteville)

· Rock Tenn Company (Sheldon)

· Rutland Plywood Corporation (Rutland)

· Rutland Regional Medical Center (Rutland)

· Springfield Hospital (Springfield)

· Stratton Mountain Resort (Stratton)

· Swan Valley Cheese of Vermont (Swanton)

· Swenson Granite Company (Barre)

· The Orvis Company (Sunderland)

· The Vermont Country Store (Manchester Center)

· Town of Brattleboro (Brattleboro)

· University Mall (South Burlington)

· Vermed, Inc. (Bellows Falls)

· Vermont Circuits, Inc. (Brattleboro)

· Vermont State Buildings (Statewide Locations)

· Vermont Technical College (Randolph Center)

· Vishay Tansitor, Inc. (Bennington)

· Weidmann (St. Johnsbury)

For more information on the Energy Leadership Challenge,

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. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) operates Efficiency Vermont under an appointment by the Vermont Public Service Board. VEIC is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization founded in 1986. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or

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