Efficiency Vermont Invests in Local Breweries


VT Digger, December 14, 2016

A craft brewery in St. Albans was recognized by Rep. Peter Welch, Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Brewers Association for its leadership in embracing energy efficiency, supporting veterans, and hiring local contractors and vendors.
Rep. Welch, who has long been a champion for clean energy and energy efficiency at the federal level, visited the 14th Star Brewery in St. Albans to meet owner and founder Steven Gagner, and CEO Andrea Gagner. The bother/sister team has worked together to grow the business from 200 barrels in 2013 when operations began, to more than 5,000 barrels this year.
“Clean energy and energy efficiency are key to stabilizing energy costs and helping Vermont businesses grow,” said Rep. Welch. “Kudos to 14th Star Brewery for its leadership and making investments in energy efficiency and in the local economy.”
Liz Gamache, Director of Efficiency Vermont, thanked 14th Star for working with Efficiency Vermont to incorporate the latest energy efficient technology into their expansion efforts as they’ve converted what once was a bowling alley into a state-of-the-art craft brewery. Taking advantage of increased incentives and technical support available through Efficiency Vermont’s Business Forward campaign, 14th Star has invested in high efficiency LED lighting, HVAC systems, and electric motors used in the brewing process. The investment will save 14th Star more than $100,000 in electricity costs during the next 15 years, with more energy efficiency investments planned for the future.
“By combining their expertise in brewing with our expertise in energy efficiency, 14th Star has been able to optimize their operations to drive down their energy costs, and help all of Vermont reduce the need for expensive new electric transmission and distribution equipment,” said Gamache, who is also the mayor of St. Albans. “The contribution they are making to the vitality of St. Albans makes this a doubly satisfying success story for me.”
“The growing Vermont brewing industry is a key part of the state’s economy, generating $199 million in total economic activity in 2014 and providing more than 1,500 jobs,” said Melissa Corbin, Director of the Vermont Brewers Association. “Our industry’s partnership with Efficiency Vermont has made doing business more affordable and optimized operations, helping our members grow and compete.”
14th Star is among 23 Vermont breweries that have worked with Efficiency Vermont in recent years to reduce energy use and save money. The work has resulted in more than $5.5 million in lifetime energy savings within the industry. In addition, Efficiency Vermont has worked with brewers to methodically analyze all aspects of brewery operations and identify “quick wins” that all breweries can achieve (read this Efficiency Vermont blog to learn more about the “energy savings treasure hunt” held last summer at Harpoon Brewery).
“We’re proud of the investment we are making in St. Albans, and pleased with the energy savings we’ve been able to achieve,” said Andrea Gagner, CEO of 14th Star Brewing Co. “Their (Efficiency Vermont’s) advice is free, and they have incentives available to help bring down the upfront cost of investing in efficient technologies.”
More than $17 million in incentives and increased technical support is available to Vermont businesses to encourage them to invest in money saving energy efficiency technologies, as part of Efficiency Vermont’s Business Forward campaign. More information is available at effiencyvermont.com/business-forward.

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