Dean Foods

Fast Facts

Industry: Food Processing
Location: Southern California
Annual kWh Savings: Identified over 5 million kWh in potential energy savings
Annual Therms Savings: Identified over 140,000 therms in potential savings
Payments Received to Date: Over $500,000 in incentives received from SCE and SoCalGas

Dean Foods Company is one of the largest food and beverage companies in the US, specializing in dairy products. In addition to adhering to the highest production and service standards, Dean Foods is also committed to reducing its environmental impact and lowering operating costs. In July 2012, the company committed to decreasing energy use by 20% and reducing water use by 35% by 2020 from baseline levels.

The Challenge

Craig Nielsen, the Engineering Manager at Dean Foods’ Alta Dena dairy plant located in southern California, needed to meet corporate sustainability goals and drive energy efficiency projects, while maintaining high-quality production and keeping equipment operating at maximum capacity.

The Solution

Dean Foods began partnering with EnerNOC in 2007 as part of the Southern California Edison (SCE) Industrial Energy Efficiency Program. EnerNOC worked with SCE to secure incentives for capital energy efficiency projects at Dean Foods’ Alta Dena dairy plant, worked with the operations team to prioritize projects at the facility that would yield the highest ROI, and measured and verified the savings associated with completed projects.

One successful project was a compressor upgrade, which resulted in over 2.7 million kWh of annual savings and an incentive payment of $223,520 from SCE.

This success led Dean Foods to expand its relationship with EnerNOC for future energy efficiency projects, and in 2010 the partnership grew to include the Southern California Gas Industrial Energy Efficiency Program. EnerNOC has identified and supported over a dozen successful energy efficiency projects for Dean Foods, optimizing this dairy facility’s performance and major energy-intensive processes.

Later completed projects include:

  • Homogenizer upgrade
  • Boiler condensate system upgrades
  • Cogeneration hot water recovery
  • Hydraulic pump staging controls
  • Refrigeration system upgrades
  • Compressed air leak repair and system retrofits

The Future

As Dean Foods continues to make energy management a priority, the company has expanded its relationship with EnerNOC. At a regional Dean Foods facility and engineering managers’ conference, EnerNOC discussed energy efficiency in various Dean Foods’ plants and sparked a conversation among the teams to make Dean Foods brands best-in-class in sustainability and energy management.

Dean Foods also recently chose to utilize EnerNOC’s energy intelligence software (EIS) in order to gain greater visibility into its real-time energy data and spend, and participates in demand response to earn additional revenue.