Dee Zee Ice LLC has been operating from its fully automated, state-of-the-art 13,500 square foot facility in Southington since 2011. The company – which markets its products under the DIAMOND ICE brand – produces and delivers packaged ice, cubed ice and block ice to a range of customers, including gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants, grocery stores, colleges and private events. As you drop one of their cubes into your favorite drink, you might not realize one of its main ingredients: energy efficiency.
“We have the capacity to make ice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can produce more than 260,000 pounds of ice daily,” said Dee Zee Ice plant manager Rob Holmes. “Energy is a major cost for us. In order to stay competitive and grow our operations, including reinvesting in new equipment and our workforce, it’s important for us to keep our energy costs down.”
Dee Zee Ice shares a long history with Eversource and its energy efficiency team. In 2017, the two partnered on additional facility upgrades including a new ammonia-refrigerant ice production system to replace their standard electric refrigerant unit, indoor and outdoor LED lighting, and freezer room improvements including adding fast-closing doors for shipping.
“Dee Zee Ice sells to a wide range of customers, from convenience stores to supermarkets to caterers and special events, so their product is always in need,” said Eversource Energy Efficiency spokesperson Enoch Lenge. “In the past, energy for ice production was always a major cost for them. We were able to connect them to solutions for savings and provide engineering and technical assistance, as well as financial incentives for upgrades.”
“We are making more ice, and with better electric cost ratios too,” said Holmes. “Our costs have stayed level as our production has increased, and without the energy-efficient upgrades, they would be significantly higher.”
Dee Zee Ice’s recent energy efficiency improvements will save the company more than $7,500 annually and nearly $115,000 over the lifetime use of the equipment along with saving 11.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity.
The lighting upgrades have also made a big difference, especially on the production floor.
“We work in the cold – one room is 18 degrees, one is 22, one is in the 30s – and the old bulbs used to take minutes to warm up,” said Holmes. “The LEDs now come on very quickly, which is a welcome change for our staff.”
The upgrades have also had a positive environmental impact. The energy saved by Dee Zee Ice will result in 5,364 tons of CO2 reduction, – the equivalent to taking more than 1,200 cars off the road for a year and could power nearly 1,400 homes with electricity for one year.
“Eversource developed a set of standards for its energy efficiency programs, which includes a significant environmental benefit, and that’s important to us,” said Holmes. “Overall, they worked closely with our electrical engineers and helped us make the best choices for our needs, without us having to learn everything or reinvent the wheel.”
For more information on Energize Connecticut’s business energy solutions administered by Eversource, please visit EnergizeCT.com/your-business or call 877.WISE.USE (877-947-3873).
About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, UI, SCG and CNG, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com.