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Engaging Wineries in Your Agriculture Programs

Wine making is an energy-intensive process. The California wine industry (which produces about 85% of US wine) consumes over 400 GWh of electricity annually, making it the second largest electricity-consuming food industry in California, after fruit and vegetable processing.

Energy can represent up to 15 percent of total operating costs, so it’s critical to a winery’s competitiveness to take advantage of conservation strategies, unlocking cost savings to generate more profits. Such strategies can also improve productivity, reduce maintenance costs and downtime, reduce material consumption and waste management costs, and enhance the green credentials of the brand.

Together, these advantages present a strong business case for wineries to engage with your agriculture programs, and learn how to optimize and upgrade operations to become a more energy-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible businesses.

What are the main uses of energy in wineries?

wineries graphic 2

How can wineries tackle energy inefficiencies?

Several tools have been developed to help wineries better understand how they use energy and where savings can be made both now and in the future. These tools can provide inspiration for programs to engage wineries in identifying big-ticket energy efficiency opportunities and developing business cases for investing in energy-saving retrofits and upgrades.

For example, the South Australian Wine Industry Association’s “Winery Energy Saver Toolkit” (WEST) contains step-by-step resources to help wineries of all sizes assess the technical applicability and then the business feasibility of investing in energy efficiency measures. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has also developed an integrated self-assessment software tool for the California wine industry called BEST (“Benchmarking and Energy and water Savings Tool”).

The first step is to audit energy use. This means measuring energy use in each of the major areas of consumption across the winery to evaluate options for optimizing or upgrading key equipment. It also involves understanding what critical data must be collected to design appropriate energy-efficiency solutions, working together with suppliers and maintenance providers.

The second stage guides the winery in undertaking a commercial assessment of each opportunity identified. They start by considering the potential benefits like reduced energy, labor and maintenance costs, and improved productivity and product quality. Then they look at associated costs and the capability of the business to implement the upgrade.


Key opportunities for optimization of existing equipment and processes in wineries might include:

  • setting a 1°C increase in refrigeration and storage temperatures, reducing energy consumption by 2-4 percent (and also lowering maintenance costs and increasing equipment life, due to lower loads)
  • using demand management control systems that limit peak-demand electricity consumption and help shift refrigeration loading throughout the day
  • scheduling multiple pumps in parallel to allow each to work at optimal load, which can yield energy savings of 10-30 percent of pump power consumption


Upgrading equipment obviously incurs higher costs than optimization, but it also brings greater savings, often with simple payback periods of just a few years.

  • Installing insulation on tanks can save 20-33 percent of refrigeration power consumption.
  • Installing high-efficiency refrigeration compressors and chillers could result in 6-42 percent in electrical energy savings.
  • Installing variable speed drives (VSDs) on pumps and air compressors to continually adjust the motor speed to match the compressor output to the load allows for relatively large power reductions (10–60%), since compressor power is proportional to the cube of the motor speed.
  • Installing efficient lamps can save 25–83% of lighting energy consumption, especially in conjunction with occupancy sensors, which turn lights off in areas that are not occupied.

Getting wineries on board with energy efficiency

By offering real value to wineries in helping them achieve industry-specific energy efficiency goals, your programs will not only engage wine businesses but will also nurture long-term relationships with them. And that can drive further collaboration and efficiencies well into the future. To learn about Franklin Energy's innovative agricultural solutions, schedule a meeting with an expert today.



Energy efficiency for Wineries – Winery Energy Saver Toolkit (WEST). South Australian Wine Industry Association Incorporated: www.winesa.asn.au/members/advice-information/environment/energy-efficiency

Winery Water and Energy Use, and New TechnologiesNew World Winemaker: www.newworldwinemaker.com/article/winery-water-and-energy-use

Managing Energy Costs in Wineries, Business Energy Advisor: https://ouc.bizenergyadvisor.com/wineries

Energy Efficiency Opportunities In Wineries For Retrofit And New Construction Projects Industrial Energy Technology Conference 2013 New Orleans, LA May 21–24, 2013: http://baseco.com/Publications/2013IETC-Winery.pdf

BEST Winery Guidebook: Benchmarking and Energy and Water Savings Tool for the Wine Industry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7qb4h9g0#main

Ed McGlynn
Written by Ed McGlynn

VP of Large C&I Strategy
When describing Ed McGlynn’s duties, the list is not a short one. He develops new products and services for the commercial and industrial segment, offers consulting advice to electric and gas utilities and provides support to Franklin Energy’s regional operation teams, which implement demand side management programs across the country. His 30 years of experience with utilities and demand side management have allowed him to develop and apply vision, leadership and innovation. Ed serves on the board of directors for the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and is a former board member of the Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP) and the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC). An electrical engineer, Ed also holds an MBA from Providence College and is a certified energy manager (CEM) and certified building commissioning professional.


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