Wineries consume large amounts of power from the crush all the way through bottling. Wineries that include tasting rooms, retail sales and food service add another level of energy consumption to the wine-making process. The San Luis Obispo solar panel technicians and electricians from Electricraft, Inc. have released some guidelines to help wineries implement energy conservation, improve the budget bottom-line and still maintain the highest quality in their wine and service.

The steps to energy conservation include:

  • Assess current power usage
  • Examine both the short-term and long-term benefits of solar energy
  • Develop a plan and proposal for implementing a cost-effective and efficient energy project

Assessing power usage

Knowing what equipment and business processes are using the most energy is the first place to start. The most common areas to examine are:

  • Electrical wiring systems: Wiring systems that are older use more energy. Replacing all of the old wiring for the entire operation might not be cost-effective, but upgrading electrical systems for critical operations is going to contribute to more efficient energy use and lower costs.
  • Lighting is necessary for safety, for employee productivity and for the ability to monitor processes. Something as simple as switching to LED lights, adding more light sources and motion sensors can reduce the amount of energy lights use and increase workplace visibility at the same time. Don’t forget to identify areas that need more lighting.
  • Temperature control includes human comfort in the workplace such as air conditioning in summer and heat in winter. It also includes temperature monitoring equipment, refrigeration and maintaining the right temperatures for storage, especially for the wine.
  • Equipment includes everything from the cash register in the tasting room, to the office computers, printers and copiers to all of the specialized equipment used for wine-making. Equipment also includes any electrically powered automatic processes.

An inspection of all the identified areas by an experienced electrical team from Electricraft can tell exactly how much energy is being used in these areas and make the recommendations that can lead to lower energy costs, including installing solar.

Benefits of solar for wineries

Estimates are that the average commercial property owner can reduce energy costs by 75-persent by installing solar. California wineries are positioned to benefit greatly from solar energy.

The California Central Coast, especially San Luis Obispo County is perfect for solar panels. It’s no accident that California leads the nation in solar installations. It’s also no accident that California leads the nation in wine production. January 2020 statistics from Wines Vines Analytics reports that 4,613 California wineries produced 86-percent of the nation’s wine in 2019.

Along with the bottom-line savings that come with installing solar, the Federal tax credit for businesses that install solar will continue beyond the end of 2021. The commitment of California’s state and local governments to solar and renewable energy sources also provide resources making it easier to get through the permitting processes.

A meeting with the San Luis Obispo solar panel experts at Electricraft is going to give winery managers and winemakers the information needed to choose the best combination of electrical improvements and solar. The combination of skills that Electricraft electricians and solar technicians bring to your project include:

  • Training, certifications, licensing and experience in all aspects of electrical and solar systems.
  • Green energy conservation electrical projects that meet California Title 24 requirements.
  • Inspecting, analyzing and upgrade electrical systems for electrical signage, more office space, office equipment, or manufacturing equipment. Electricraft has installed commercial electrical and solar systems to operate all aspects of wineries, commercial, public works and residential projects.
  • Design, install and maintain electrical and solar systems, including underground wiring, complex requirements for hospitals and manufacturing operations.
  • Work closely with regulatory agencies and code inspectors to deliver a trouble-free final working installation.

Wineries that take an informed approach to reducing energy consumption experience an immediate benefit of reduced energy costs and increased profit margins. The most effective way to get an informed approach is to discuss your goals with the experts at Electricraft, Inc.