EnSave Conducts Energy Saving Workshop for Puerto Rico Coffee Producers
Puerto Rico coffee growers are one step closer to better beans thanks to EnSave. Senior Engineer and Partner Craig Meredith conducted a Spring 2015 workshop for over 50 coffee producers eager to learn how to save money on their energy costs and improve the quality of their product.
Mr. Meredith is uniquely qualified to conduct such a workshop, with 25 years’ experience in industrial and agricultural energy efficiency as well as in-depth knowledge of the specialty coffee industry. As a partner in an Ethiopian coffee importer that seeks to help local coffee growers improve their coffee and command a higher price, he has seen the correlation between energy management and coffee quality.
With extremely high energy prices, all areas of Puerto Rico’s economy can greatly benefit from energy efficiency as a means to reduce production costs. The coffee industry can also benefit because energy management has a direct impact on the quality of the coffee roasted.
“When a coffee dryer is incorrectly calibrated, it operates inefficiently, which wastes energy,” explains Meredith. “What’s more, the coffee beans can be essentially burnt on the outside but still moist in the middle, which creates a lower-quality bean.” When beans are roasted properly using a better-calibrated dryer, the grower is able to command a higher price for their coffee. The recent workshop focused on energy efficiency opportunities for coffee drying as well as pulping equipment, lighting, motors and pumps.
Following the workshop, a majority of the attendees signed up for agricultural energy management plans, commonly called farm energy audits. These energy audits will identify specific energy efficiency opportunities for each site, and will allow growers to access federal financial assistance for installing energy efficiency projects through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“Puerto Rico has some of the best growing conditions for coffee anywhere in the world, so they have the potential to grow some of the best quality beans,” says Meredith. Better energy management will help Puerto Rico coffee growers command a premium price for their coffee, helping the local economy and increasing the overall sustainability of the coffee industry.
If you would like more information about EnSave’s work with Puerto Rico coffee producers or would like to know more about how an energy audit could save your operation money please contact us at (800) 732-1399 or request and energy audit online.