Publication in: Fall 2023 Issue

Discovering Energy Efficiency Opportunities in Asheville's Craft Brewing Industry
Ava Ingle
Author Email:
Office of Sustainability & McCullough Institute
Faculty Mentor(s):
Evan Couzo
Abstract / Summary:
The purpose of this study is to analyze the potential impact of energy efficiency improvements at craft breweries in Asheville, North Carolina. Reducing energy consumption within a facility will in turn reduce its fossil fuel emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency promotes energy efficiency within industrial facilities through its Energy Star program. This study utilized an Energy Star checklist designed specifically to find energy efficiency improvements within a microbrewery. Four microbreweries of various sizes participated in this study. In order to analyze the potential impact of energy efficiency improvements made within each facility, an evaluation of each microbreweries’ historical energy consumption data was conducted. Energy consumption data allows the determination of potential environmental and economic impacts of energy efficiency improvements made within a brewery. Energy efficiency opportunities were discovered within all participating microbreweries. Efficiency improvements that yield the most potential savings are found in the refrigeration and steam generation systems. Results show that annual savings at each brewery ranged from $252 to $19,349, based on this review. Each brewery could save on average 69,084 kWh of electricity, ranging from 6,235 kWh to 43,464 kWh, 5,248 Therms of natural gas, ranging from 71 Therms to 18,220 Therms, and avoid emitting 77,334 lbs of carbon dioxide, ranging from 2,686 lb to 232,720 lb per year.
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