The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.
In 2015, milk processing company Foremost Farms USA made a decision that would lead the company to thousands of dollars in energy savings for years to come and earn it a 2020 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from FOCUS ON ENERGY® and partnering utility, WPS. Last week, the dairy processor was honored during a virtual presentation to recognize its energy efficiency achievements.
“Thank you for your excellent commitment to energy efficiency,” said Commissioner Tyler Huebner from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, who attended the presentation to congratulate Foremost Farms. “It is an impressive commitment that demonstrates the value of the Focus on Energy Program and what it can deliver for Wisconsin businesses and farms.”
An active participant in Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy resources program, since it’s youth, Foremost Farms was aware of the benefits that came with reduced energy use for both the company itself and the state of Wisconsin.
When the milk processer heard about Focus on Energy’s Strategic Energy Management (SEM) 12-month pilot offering in 2015, the company enthusiastically chose to participate through its Plover, Wisconsin facility for the chance to improve energy efficiency in its operations.
Five years later, Foremost Farms continues to participate in the SEM program in its Plover location, having accumulated over $135,000 in energy savings to date. And, to top it off, the company’s continued dedication to reducing energy waste in its facilities landed it an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award this year, which honors Focus on Energy customers who have shown a commitment to leading in energy efficiency.
“This Program works and it’s a collaborative effort between Foremost and Focus on Energy,” said Justin Pope from Foremost Farms. “I’m very proud of the work that our team has done.”
Foremost Farms received support from Focus on Energy during this ongoing effort through the specialized development of an Energy Management and Information System (EMIS). The company now uses the system to optimize operational process efficiency for the plant’s largest energy users.
Using the EMIS system, company staff can better understand and regularly check and adjust the facility’s large energy-consuming processes to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency. With Focus on Energy, Foremost Farms’ Plover location has also developed energy efficiency projects that generate ongoing savings each year.
“Foremost Farms Plover earned this award because of their commitment to energy efficiency,” said Bill Lumsden during the award presentation. Lumsden is an Energy Advisor from Focus on Energy who works closely with the dairy processor on its energy savings projects and nominated Foremost Farms for the award. “They use the Program for continuous improvement in energy efficiency. They have made energy efficiency a way of doing business at their facility.”
In addition to its SEM involvement, Foremost Farms earned one of five Wisconsin DOE 50001 Ready recognitions, which distinguishes companies that have established business practices around energy. The Plover facility implemented the 50001 Ready energy management system and, by doing so, cut energy costs for the business, upgraded overall operations, and improved risk management while remaining competitive in the marketplace.
“This is an award for all of us to be proud of,” said Pope. “It’s important to our customers and to Foremost. We have slight margins in the industry and being more efficient is going to help us with those margins.”
Focus on Energy is working with utility companies across the state throughout September and October to present Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards to 14 outstanding businesses.
Focus on Energy partners with 107 utilities across the state to offer energy expertise and financial incentives to residents and businesses that choose to reduce energy waste. A third-party evaluation last year revealed Wisconsin runs the most cost-effective energy efficiency programs in the nation, in terms of energy savings per dollar spent. A separate evaluation released this year found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates $4.80 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs and reduced pollution.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.