Energy Efficient Industrials Get State Recognition

May 20, 2015


DENVER, CO –The City of Greeley’s Wastewater Treatment plant and the MillerCoors Golden Brewery will receive awards from the State of Colorado for their outstanding achievements in energy efficiency. Jeff Ackermann, director of the Colorado Energy Office, will present the awards on-site at each organization.

Over the past two years, from 2012-2014, the MillerCoors Golden Brewery cut energy consumption per barrel of beer by 21%, and the Greeley Wastewater Treatment plant lowered its energy consumption per gallon of water treated by 13%. Their efforts save enough energy every year to power 6,800 Colorado households, and they reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 11,000 cars retired from Colorado roads.

“Both organizations are role models for industry.  We’re fortunate to have their leadership in Colorado,” said Ackermann.

The two industrials were part of the Colorado Industrial Energy Challenge (CIEC) that this year included 18 others including a ski resort and manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and beverage containers.  The program emphasizes the benefits of good energy management practices—management support for long-term energy-saving goals, an energy champion and team, and systems to monitor energy consumption for specific processes.

“In addition to their outstanding energy savings and energy management practices, MillerCoors and Greeley have been very generous in sharing their experiences with other companies,” said Neil Kolwey, senior associate at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and manager of the CIEC program.

MillerCoors Achieved Big Energy Savings from Compressors

MillerCoors achieved the bulk of its efficiency improvements by changing how it runs and sequences its giant steam-driven and electric compressors for the plant’s refrigeration and compressed air systems.

“It took us a while to figure out how to consistently achieve the energy savings we were looking for from the compressors,” said Julie Smith, MillerCoors’ energy optimization engineer.  “But looking back over the past two years, the resulting energy reduction and savings were absolutely terrific!”

MillerCoors credits company-wide leadership, trickle-down goals and its internal culture for ongoing energy savings.  Smith noted that 200 of the Golden brewery’s approximately 900 employees are members of the Green Team and estimated 60%-80% of the company’s energy savings are due to behavior changes in how people do their jobs.  Meters track energy use in real time by department, so employees don’t have to wait until the end of the month to check performance. The company regularly works with Xcel Energy on upgrades and rebates and hires consultants to analyze energy and water use and steer the company toward world-class resource efficiency.  This is the second time the MillerCoors Golden Brewery achieved a CIEC award.

Greeley Wastewater Replaced Outdoor Lights with LEDs

Greeley’s wastewater facility treats eight million gallons of effluent per day as a city service.  This is the second CIEC award for the plant, which established an energy management plan several years ago that continues to deliver savings.  Energy use displays are part of educational tours at the plant.

“We spent $260,000 in the past two years to cut our energy use and costs,” said Tom Dingeman, division manager.  “We added variable speed drives to several of our water pumps and upgraded our heating and cooling systems for several buildings.”  Employees took advantage of the facility’s energy consumption displays to tweak equipment controls for additional energy savings.

Greeley Wastewater Treatment also switched to LEDs in pole-mounted lighting systems outside at the treatment ponds.  Dingeman said the new bulbs deliver significant energy savings, provide better quality light and reduce maintenance costs because they last so much longer.

In 2014, the plant signed a Joint Energy Efficiency Plan with Xcel Energy that confirms the intent to complete several additional projects through 2018 that will further reduce the plant’s energy use and costs.


The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is a public interest organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.  For more information, visit


Neil Kolwey, SWEEP Senior Associate, Industrial Program:; (303) 499-0213

Julie Smith, Optimization Engineer, Miller Coors:; (303) 277-5630

Tom Dingeman, Greeley Wastewater Treatment Division Manager:; (970) 350-9365