Energy Efficiency and Cost Saving Opportunities for Distilleries

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing eight distilleries for being the first to earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance. On average, a large distillery—one that produces more than 750,000 proof gallons per year—consumes as much energy as 7,000 American homes. Distilleries that earn the ENERGY STAR use significantly less energy, and contribute fewer greenhouse gas emissions, than their peers.

“To solve the climate crisis, we need every sector of American manufacturing to demonstrate leadership in reducing emissions,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I congratulate these ENERGY STAR-certified plants for leading the way and showing that distilleries can reduce emissions by operating in a more energy efficient and cost-effective way.”

Energy Efficiency and Cost Saving Opportunities for Distilleries
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The first distilleries to earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification are:

  • Bardstown Bourbon Company Distillery; Bardstown, Ky.
  • Brown Forman’s Jack Daniel Distillery; Lynchburg, Tenn.
  • Rabbit Hole Distillery, Louisville, Ky.
  • Heaven Hill’s Bernheim Distillery; Louisville, Ky.
  • Heaven Hill’s Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery; Buda, Texas
  • MGP/Lux Row Distillery; Bardstown, Ky.
  • Heaven’s Door Distillery; Pleasureville, Ky.
  • Westland Whiskey Distillery, Seattle, Wash.

Last year, EPA worked with industry to identify nearly 180 ways distilleries can save energy. The ENERGY STAR-certified distilleries achieved top performance by implementing efficiency measures such as right-sizing equipment, recovering cooling water, reducing steam usage in their cookers, recommissioning equipment, and improving insulation. 

“Heaven Hill is honored to receive ENERGY STAR certification at two of our production facilities in Kentucky and Texas,” said Allan Latts, Co-President of Heaven Hill Brands.  “We have invested millions of dollars to update our facilities with LED lighting, water recycling, and heat recovery components and technologies, making these facilitates more energy efficient and helping us do our part to contribute to a truly sustainable distilled spirits industry.”

The distilleries EPA is recognizing today scored 75 or higher using ENERGY STAR’s Energy Performance Indicator (EPI). EPA worked with the distilled spirits industry to develop the EPI, which any distillery can use to benchmark its energy performance on a scale of 1–100. The EPI adjusts for the size of the distillery, climate, percentage of purchased spirits, and percentage of byproducts where moisture is removed—enabling fair comparisons among distilleries. A distillery that earns 75 or higher is eligible to earn ENERGY STAR certification. It must obtain independent verification of its energy performance.

“MGP uses the EPI not only to get scores for our facilities’ current levels of energy performance, but also to forecast the scores for future projects,” said Munim Hussain, MGP’s Corporate Director, Environmental Sustainability.  “For our employees, the certification is a source of pride.”

EPA has partnered with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) to raise awareness of ENERGY STAR certification and the importance of energy efficiency within the spirits sector.

“We applaud the EPA and DISCUS member distillers who worked together to create this important new tool and for leading the way in helping other distilleries measure and reduce their energy usage,” said Christine LoCascio, DISCUS Chief of Policy and Strategy.  “The careful stewardship of the environment and our natural resources along with energy efficiency are key to ensuring a sustainable and successful spirits industry.”

EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification is available for 21 types of manufacturing plants. ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations rely on their partnership with EPA to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped American families and businesses avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs and achieve more than 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.

Energy Efficiency and Cost Saving Opportunities for Distilleries

This Guide identifies best practices and technologies to increase energy efficiency in the distilled spirits industry. The guide focuses on most the most important systems, processes, and practices that account for the bulk of energy consumption including mashing and cooking, distillation, and byproduct processing operations. The information found here will help energy and plant managers identify energy and greenhouse gas reduction opportunities in their facilities.

ENERGY STAR Guide for Energy Efficiency and Cost Saving Opportunities for Distilleries

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