A Strategic, Systems-based Approach Leads to Lasting Results at Stratton Mountain

Challenge:

Like most ski resorts, Stratton Mountain suffered from high and variable energy costs. Between their snowmaking equipment, restaurants, and hotels, the Mountain’s demand for electricity and heating was rising each year—depending greatly on weather conditions, number of visitors, and daily energy choices made by employees and customers alike. To better regulate and control their energy use, Stratton Mountain’s leadership team hired VEIC to develop a strategy to manage energy costs and reduce the environmental impact of the resort’s snowmaking.

Solution:

Continuous energy improvement (CEI) is a strategic approach to energy management that focuses on capital upgrades, process improvements, better maintenance, and employee engagement. VEIC used the four-pronged approach to help Stratton Mountain not just reduce energy costs, but integrate an energy savings mindset into its management practices.

In partnership with Efficiency Vermont, the state’s energy efficiency utility administered by VEIC, Stratton Mountain developed standard operating procedures based on CEI. Working together, Efficiency Vermont and Stratton Mountain began to submeter their snowmaking equipment and buildings, analyze climatic conditions to determine ideal snowmaking temperatures, study diesel fuel markets, forecast electricity demand, and develop a standardized digital database to track the performance of their system.

Results:

Stratton Mountain:

  • Reduced its annual electricity bill by 157,000 killowatt hours;
  • Reduced snowmaking costs by 12 percent over the course of one year while increasing snowmaking output;
  • Began to use its water resources more efficiently;
  • Reduced the environmental impact of the mountain’s snowmaking systems; and
  • Developed a new standard operating procedure for ongoing energy management.