Comments for: Gifford’s becomes more efficient, expanding after Efficiency Maine grant

Posted Sept. 04, 2012, at 9:31 a.m.

SKOWHEGAN | Gifford’s Ice Cream’s efforts to become more efficient has increased production thanks to new technology. Gifford’s was awarded $33,821 by Efficiency Maine’s Business Program. The incentive was about 20 percent of a $172,875 project to upgrade Gifford’s production and cooling equipment. “It allowed us to buy better …

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  • Anonymous

    their ice cream is the best.

  • Anonymous

    This is ridiculous, this is corporate welfare! If they couldn’t do it on there own they shouldn’t have done it. Go to a bank and get a loan if you want. 

    • Anonymous

      You do realize that you sound like a fool.

    • Kitchell

      Agreed, if there is savings to be had at 8500 a year, that should be enough incentive to do it on your own. 

    • Anonymous

      Amen, praise the lord!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed.  Other companies that don’t get grants end up having to subsidize those that do.

      • Anonymous

        All rate-payers contribute to the funds for this program.  Any company using less efficient technology can apply to this program.  Those most likely to get approved will have demonstrate a greater reduction on the grid through the project and apply early in each fiscal year for the program. 

        The Efficiency Maine incentive is actually quite a bit lower than one offered by National Grid in Massachusetts which provides 70% contribution to these programs.  However, due to the greater demands in MA, it is less costly to migrate user to more efficient technology than to build both production and distribution facilities for electricity.  (and us Mainers have been subsidizing users down in Boston who also fall within the same grid with capacity charges which are not as relevant to us).

        These programs are win-win.

        • Anonymous

          If the cost of more capacity is more than the return in rates from the users of that energy, then  the rates are wrong.

          Perhaps instead of Giffords expanding their operation, they should pay customers not to eat their ice cream?

          • Anonymous

            Capacity charges are only a portion of the costs and are related to maintaining the necessary infrastructure required to serve peak demands which are only hit a few days per year, yet need to be available.  An accurate comparison would be Giffords being required to maintain an 20,000 square foot restaurant year-round because this space is required for the rush on the cooler evenings of the few 90+ degree summer days we experience in Maine.  No restaurant is going to maintain this space but power has to be available.

            But capacity is only one segment of it, the other cost consideration is new customers.  It is less costly getting customers to become more energy efficient than to purchase land, construct new nuclear or natural gas to electricity conversion plants and transmission lines.  These are considerable costs.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Houlton Farms Dairy ice cream in PI is a great contender with Gifford’s for “the Best” rating.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve sampled every flavor from every contender for that title.  I better get at it could take me a while.

  • Anonymous

    “Gifford’s was awarded $33,821 by Efficiency Maine’s Business Program. The incentive was about 20 percent of a $172,875 project to upgrade Gifford’s production and cooling equipment.”

    Ok so we have $172,875 – 33,821 = $139054. as their actual investment.   They then go on to say: 

    “… she estimates the company is using 56,000 fewer kilowatt hours annually, resulting in about $8,500 savings on their electric bill each year. There should be a 4½-year return on investment, she said.”

    $8,500. per year times 4.5 years = $38,250. 

    At that rate, the payback on $139,054 is actually 16.4 years not 4.5 years.  I think somebody employed some fuzzy math in this article.

    • Anonymous

      Unless the $139K  is paid from the companies own coffers, then the $33K is just something to help the company out a bit.  (not sure if that is the case or not)  But in the article it says the money granted to them is only 20% of the total expense of their expansion plans.

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