WAITSFIELD -- Efficiency Vermont was joined today by Governor Peter Shumlin, legislators, and local business and utility leaders to unveil a new initiative aimed at helping Vermont's largest manufacturers reduce their energy costs, increase their competitiveness, and more effectively monitor and manage their costs over the long term. The announcement was made at the Waitsfield offices of Cabot Creamery Cooperative, one of the manufacturers that will be taking part in the new initiative.
"We need to be doing everything in our power to help Vermont manufacturers compete in a global marketplace," said Governor Shumlin. "This includes helping them manage their energy costs. By working with Efficiency Vermont to reduce their peak electric loads, they can save money -- and focus on growing their business right here in Vermont."
Efficiency Vermont expects to invest approximately $2 million in the Industrial Peak Initiative, which will assist 19 of Vermont's largest manufacturers in managing and reducing their peak electric use -- which occurs when their facilities are consuming especially high levels of energy, and accruing additional, expensive, charges on their electric bills as a result. In 2013, peak demand charges accounted for 26 percent of annual electric costs for those manufacturers. Although the effort will be expanded in future years, the initial goal of the Industrial Peak Initiative is to reduce these costs by 10 percent, resulting in aggregate savings of $1.
"Our team works with businesses of all sizes, across the state, and many of them accrue significant peak demand charges as part of their normal operations," said Jim Merriam, Director of Efficiency Vermont. "That's why we are really excited to launch the Industrial Peak Initiative with our utility partners, the Public Service Department, and large Vermont manufacturers. In future, we expect to expand this collaborative effort to support even more businesses, across a range of sectors, with innovative tools that will help them better anticipate and manage their energy costs."
"Not only will this help our major industries be more competitive and reduce their power costs, but this will help all Vermont ratepayers by helping improve system reliability, and reduce Vermont's share of New England regional transmission costs that are now a major part of upward pressure on rates in Vermont" said Christopher Recchia, Commissioner of the Public Service Department. "This effort will help make Vermont more competitive across the region" he added.
The Industrial Peak Initiative features three key components:
- Customized analysis of energy use, through the use of smart meter data, sub-metering, and custom analytics tools developed by Efficiency Vermont;
- Tools to allow manufacturers to predict when they are approaching their peak demand, and when they need to take action; and
- Assistance and support in implementing measures to minimize peak demand, ranging from low-cost options (e.g., manufacturing process improvements) to capital investments that will reduce peak demand usage and costs over time.
"At Cabot Creamery Cooperative, we are always looking to better understand the factors that are driving our costs, and address them," said Ed Pcolar, Senior VP of Manufacturing. "In 2013, peak demand charges represented almost one quarter of our annual electric costs. We are looking forward to the enhanced support and assistance that Efficiency Vermont will provide to help drive that number -- and our costs -- down in 2014 and beyond."
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.