Swiss Heritage Cheese

Monticello, WI

Incentive: $72,439.53

Utility: We Energies & Alliant Energy

Program: Business Incentive Program


Swiss Heritage Cheese, Inc. has a long, rich history that began in 1964. The spirit that began nearly 50 years ago lives on today in the dedicated vision and collective efforts of the team at Swiss Heritage Cheese. The present company was established in 1988 and is now owned by James Zimmerman. In order to keep up with new regulations and come ahead of their competition, Swiss Heritage Cheese knew that they were going to have to make their plant as efficient  and cost effective as possible. They learned about Focus on Energy incentives through the Trade Ally they were working with, Efficient Steam Systems (owner Marty Wells).

The first efficiency measure implemented was a process called heat recovery, using hot whey stream to heat the cold milk in the cheesemaking process. This heating and cooling process was previously provided 100% by boiler and chiller use.  Through Focus on Energy's recommendations, a loop was created through a heat exchanger on each flow stream, capturing the heat from the whey to warm the milk then continue the flow of the cold milk to cool the whey. This reduced the need for the boiler and chiller by 50% each, resulting in annual cost savings at anestimated at $48,053 and therm savings at 34,308. Since this improvement reduced the demand for the chiller, Swiss Heritage Cheese was able to go without purchasing an extra chiller they had planned to implement.  
The second measure took advantage of free cooling by adding a cooling tower on site. The cooling tower reduces the need for the chiller, naturally cooling the whey as it comes out at 106 degrees. The tower was sized to eliminate the need for chiller demand in the winter. While the monetary savings is offset by the addition of pumps on the cooling tower, Swiss Heritage Cheese still saves 50% of its the annual kwh use. For example, demand is reduced in the winter from 140.4kw to 16.0kw. The annual cost savings on the cooling tower is $27,217.
The third measure taken improved the heat recovery process of the 100HP Boiler by installing an economizer on the stack. Once installed, the stack temperature dropped from 425 to 269 degrees F, and the temperature rise on the water tank loop increased from 110 to135 degrees F. This increased the efficiency of the boiler from 82.2 to 86.1%, ultimately saving Swiss Heritage Cheese 2,833 therms annually and $1,923.24.
Through the Focus on Energy Business Incentive Program, Swiss Heritage Cheese was able to accumulate not only energy savings, but also a great amount of annual cost savings, affecting their bottom line. For their energy saving measures, Focus on Energy awarded Swiss Heritage Cheese an incentive of $72,439.53.