Jackson Family Wines (JFW) is one of California’s largest family-owned wineries, operating 18 wineries across four counties: Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. For the past 25 years, the Jackson family has pioneered sustainable agriculture and winemaking practices. In 2008, JFW performed full audits of all its facilities to identify energy-efficiency opportunities.

Partnering with a local sustainability engineering firm, JFW opted to enact a pilot program at its La Crema winery, where it undertook a half-dozen efficiency measures. Immediate annual savings totaled one 1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) and nearly $140,000 in energy costs. Impressed by the savings, JFW extended the pilot program to a company-wide efficiency campaign for all 13 facilities.

The first thing JFW did across facilities was a lighting retrofit, chosen for its low capital cost and quick payback. The company replaced 400-watt metal halide fixtures with energy-efficient T5 lamps, producing annual energy savings of 1.6 million kWh. Rebates from the local utility covered 16 percent of the capital cost, with a simple payback period of less than six months.

Next, JFW undertook a retrocommissioning program run by its utility that provided audits of air-handling and cooling systems. The program found inefficiencies in six compressed-air systems; JFW made changes to make the valves more efficient and the pressure controls more precise. Utility rebates covered 25 percent of the compressed-air system maintenance costs, and JFW realized an annual savings of over half a million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and a simple payback period of less than one year. The company also retrocommissioned its HVAC and refrigeration systems, including adjustments to temperature setpoints, pressure settings, and the glycol mixes in the refrigeration and cooling process. JFW’s utility covered more than 40 percent of the cost of these changes, resulting in a payback period of an impressive four months.

JFW’s most capital-intensive upgrade was replacing 104 old motors with high-efficiency ones, and adding variable-frequency drives. The upgrade reduced annual electricity consumption by 3 million kWh. The utility rebates, totaling more than $345,000, covered 30 percent of capital costs, allowing a simple payback period of only 16 months.

All in all, JFW’s energy savings totaled nearly $3 million and more than 9.2 million kWh. By targeting and implementing intelligent retrofits and pairing them with nearly $1 million in rebates from the local utility, JFW was able to pay back its investment in less than two years. 

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