Energy Savings from Single Washington State Facility Tabbed as Utility’s Largest to Date

Zirkle Fruit to be recognized Nov. 14 by Benton PUD for tallying nearly 3.5 million kilowatt-hours per year in energy savings at Prosser facility

PORTLAND, Ore.--()--Saving 35 percent on your electricity bill ought to come with at least a thank you card. In Zirkle Fruit’s case, it will come with a little bit more.

“BPA is very pleased that Zirkle Fruit has so strongly embraced the Energy Smart Industrial program. We applaud their leadership and dedication to improving energy efficiency in their Prosser facility”

Company representatives from the Washington State-based company will receive expressions of thanks along with a ceremonial $880,000 check in incentives from Benton Public Utility District (PUD) and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) program in an event open to the public and media Wednesday, Nov. 14.

The recognition comes on the heels of major energy efficiency upgrades—totaling almost 3.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy saved annually—completed at the company’s Prosser facility.

“We try to give back to our communities, and energy conservation helps,” said Jeff Gill, the Zirkle Fruit project manager in charge of the Prosser facility upgrades.

At the outset of the collaboration, a team of BPA ESI and Benton PUD energy efficiency experts visited the site to identify and recommend improvements, resulting in upgrades to the facility’s controlled atmosphere system that keep apples fresh for retail. With improved performance, Zirkle Fruit will be able to cut $185,000 in annual energy costs—enough to get a return on the $1.2 million investment within two years.

Energy projects completed for Zirkle Fruit collectively constitute the largest total savings Benton PUD has acquired from a single facility. “These are tremendous savings by any measure,” said Chris Johnson, manager of Power Resources. “The Zirkle Fruit projects illustrate the commitment and teamwork required for great results. Not every industrial site can achieve this level of savings but most can significantly reduce energy costs through this program.”

“BPA is very pleased that Zirkle Fruit has so strongly embraced the Energy Smart Industrial program. We applaud their leadership and dedication to improving energy efficiency in their Prosser facility,” said Jennifer Eskil, BPA Industrial Sector Lead.

The recognition ceremony for Zirkle Fruit will be held:


Date: Wednesday, Nov. 14

Time: 10 – 11 a.m.

Address: Zirkle Fruit Company

101 East Benitz Roadway
Prosser, WA 99350

Directions: After exiting I-82, travel east on Wine Country Road. Then turn left onto Benitz Roadway and continue until the road ends. Parking will be adjacent to the facility. If attending, please RSVP (contact information below) in advance.


BPA’s ESI program enters its fourth year as a regional clearinghouse for industrial energy efficiency. To date, ESI serves 99 percent of Northwest public power’s industrial load and boasts nearly 370 million kilowatt-hours in verified energy savings from its first two years. Earlier this year, the program was also recognized for “Outstanding Achievement in Program Design & Implementation Non-residential Program” by the Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP).


Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) program works with the Northwest’s industrial facilities through their utility to deliver cost-effective energy savings across a wide variety of industrial markets. ESI provides technical expertise and resources to address energy efficiency opportunities that meet varying industry needs and company budget levels. Learn more at

About Benton PUD

Benton PUD serves 47,000 customers in Kennewick, Finley, Benton City, Prosser and the surrounding areas. For more information, go to


BPA Energy Smart Industrial
Doug Anderson, 503-928-4811
Benton PUD
Karen Miller, 509-582-1228

Release Summary

Zirkle Fruit facility cuts energy consumption 35% to achieve the largest savings ever by a single facility in Benton County, Washington.

BPA Energy Smart Industrial