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Jerome Cheese Company: Small Energy Efficiency Projects Produce Big Savings

The Business

The Jerome Cheese Company is located in southwestern Idaho in the Magic Valley.

The factory receives more than 90 truckloads of raw milk every day. From this raw material, 15 or more truckloads of cheese is manufactured, and an average of three truckloads of cream are shipped to butter and ice cream plants across the United States. More than 400,000 gallons(about 3,400,000 pounds) of useable water is used to process 5,200,000 pounds of milk and 520,000 pounds of cheese.

The Challenge

The Jerome Cheese Company heavily uses air compressors during its manufacturing process. Maintenance on the older compressed air system drains was expensive; the old mechanical air compressor drains clogged and had to continually be maintained.

Previously, a timer opened a solenoid valve on these drains for three seconds every five minutes to drain any accumulated moisture in the lines. As these solenoids opened, compressed air was lost, along with drained moisture, and energy from the air compressor was wasted.

Calculations showed that 67,644,720 cubic feet of air was lost through those 15 drains every year, with a corresponding energy use of 280,683 kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The Solution

Installation of 15 zero-loss drains on the compressed air system saved money on energy and reduced ongoing maintenance associated with the old system.

Zero-loss drains allow moisture to automatically drain without the loss of any compressed air. The project was completed in December 2008.

The Outcome

Labor and materials for the projects totaled $9,909, David Bero, energy manager for Davisco Foods International, Inc. said, “A small opportunity to save money and reduce energy output resulted in a very big opportunity. We are now more ‘green.’ ”

The Savings

Energy savings for the project are 280,683 kWh per year, which is equivalent to the average energy use of 21 typical Idaho homes.

The Bottom Line

Idaho Power provided the Jerome Cheese Company with a $6,936 incentive for the zero-loss drain upgrades. This allowed for reduced energy consumption and monetary savings for the factory.

In addition, Bero said the company receives ongoing help from Idaho Power as they provide guidance on other energy-saving projects the Jerome Cheese Company is working on. A new air compressor was recently installed that has a higher capacity and improved operating efficiency.

“It sounded like a small number in terms of savings, but when you look at it over time it added up to a big number in savings.”

–David Bero, energy manager for Davisco Foods International, Inc.


If you are looking for similar energy-saving success for your business, Idaho Power can help.

Idaho Power offers a complete suite of energy efficiency programs for commercial and industrial businesses. The Custom Efficiency program assists large commercial and industrial customers in identifying and paying for energy efficiency improvements.

Easy Upgrades offers incentives of up to $100,000 for energy-saving retrofits within existing commercial and industrial buildings.

The Building Efficiency program offers incentives of up to $100,000 per project to offset part of additional capital expenses for more efficient lighting designs, cooling systems, controls, and building shells in new commercial and industrial construction projects.

FlexPeak Management, a demand response program, offers commercial and industrial customers recurring payments for reducing a set amount of electricity consumption in response to Idaho Power’s peak demand and other system needs.

Go to or call 208-388-5624 for more information on how Idaho Power can help you save energy and money.

This success story was produced in cooperation with, and approval from, Idaho Power Company customer Jerome Cheese Factory.

Looking For Success?

If you are looking for similar success, Idaho Power’s Custom Efficiency program can help. Call 208-388-5949 for more information on this incentive program.

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