George Lawrence -
When we talk about energy savings, we often focus on the cutting-edge technology that makes it possible. The truth, though, is often much more complex; much more human. In the case of Stratton Ski Resort's work with Efficiency Vermont on their snowmaking costs, for example, the real heroes are the Stratton team and their willingness to take a good look at their operation and then change it. The result? Stratton reduced their snowmaking costs by 12 percent over the course of a year through Continuous Energy Improvement (CEI), a systematic approach to energy efficiency.
Read Powder Magazine's article on Stratton's work
Meaningful savings are often the result of concerted cross-organizational effort, and Stratton is a good example of that. Their success began with good data. As Powder Magazine puts it, "Snowmakers have been known to make their calls on gut feelings informed by weather forecasts, some data, and real-time temperature monitoring." But snow conditions are extremely variable and creating meaningful savings requires a more systematic approach. So Stratton worked with metering experts at VEIC to collect two years' worth of data.
Based on their amassed data and our analysis, Stratton has since created a totally revamped set of standard operating procedures for their snow-making team. In fact, as a result of that work, they've retired an air compressor that used 150,000 gallons of fuel a season, and yet they're still able to cover 93 percent of the mountain. Their new system is so efficient, it was no longer necessary.
We've been doing a fair bit of research and development on CEI in our work as Efficiency Vermont.
Read Efficiency Vermont's White Paper on CEI