Foremost Farms USA, a milk processing company, received double the honor for its impressive commitments to energy efficiency. Along with its Plover facility, the company’s Appleton location won a 2020 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from FOCUS ON ENERGY® and Foremost Farms’ utility provider, We Energies. The award was presented during a virtual award presentation to recognize the company’s accomplishments – during which Foremost Farms’ Plover facility also received the honor.
Since 2018, Foremost Farms has completed four energy assessments in its Appleton facility and identified 25 opportunities for improve efficiency in its operations. To date, the processor has completed 11 of these upgrades, which include lighting improvements, steam and compressed air system leak repairs, installing more efficient blowers and electrical systems, adding no-loss condensate drains, and installing variable speed drives on process pumps.
“Your approach of analyzing facilities and processes and taking steps to implement efficiency projects is truly admirable,” said Commissioner Tyler Huebner from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, who attended the presentation and offered his congratulations. “Focus on Energy is proud of your commitment to energy efficiency in Wisconsin.”
Foremost Farms has also taken the extra step to prioritize energy efficiency as the company makes behavioral and cultural adjustments within the organization. The company’s leadership continuously demonstrates their dedication to reducing energy waste and has made a point to commit time and resources to maximizing Foremost Farms’ energy efficiency opportunities.
“This award highlights Foremost Farms proactive approach to energy efficiency,” said We Energies representative Jim Stebnicki, who nominated Foremost Farms for the award. “Through a collaborative effort, they identified efficiency opportunities and took those recommendations seriously.”
The Appleton facility has a dedicated Energy Team that meets every month to discuss potential energy efficiency improvements. Facility staff, representatives from We Energies and the company’s Energy Advisor from Focus on Energy, Bill Lumsden, also attend the meetings.
“The Appleton team earned this award,” Lumsden said during the award presentation. “They’re persistent in their energy efficiency work and have been successful in saving energy in their plant. From the beginning, the Appleton team impressed me with their enthusiasm and commitment to energy efficiency.
By completing energy efficiency projects through Focus on Energy, Foremost Farms will see energy savings estimated at over 1,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 20,000 therms annually. This is equivalent to burning 895,600 pounds of coal.
“[These projects] have been a huge win for us,” said Mueller. “Not only are we saving on energy, we’re save on chemicals we were using and wastewater. [The upgrades] make a safer and better place to work. It’s been a big benefit for us and we’ll continue with these programs.”
Each year, Focus on Energy selects customers who have shown a commitment to leading in energy efficiency to receive an Excellence Award. Foremost Farms’ demonstrated commitment to energy efficiency shows beneficial results for the processor’s financial savings, foundational growth, and statewide environmental impact – and will continue to do so for years to come.
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, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy resources program, 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.