US-based Vermont Coffee Company is using 100% renewable biogas to roast its coffee. The company sources both thermal and electric energy it uses for coffee production from renewable methane supplied by Green Mountain Power.

Vermont Coffee founder and CEO Paul Ralston said: “Renewable electricity was the easy part. The real challenge was getting a renewable thermal energy source to replace propane.”

Green Mountain Power supplies electricity generated by the Addison County dairy farms using anaerobic digesters that extract valuable methane gas from cow manure and converts it into electricity.

To meet its renewable biogas requirements, methane is recovered from a Quebec-based engineered landfill operated by EBI Énergie and delivered by Vermont Gas Company.

“Our first responsibility is efficiency and increased efficiency makes the higher cost of renewable energy less of an issue.”

Before converting to 100% renewable energy, Vermont Coffee made a multi-year investment to make its roastery energy efficient.

As part of the upgrade, the company adopted new roasting technology and modified its existing roasting processes.

Ralston said: “The capital investment to upgrade our roasters was significant but our first responsibility is efficiency, and increased efficiency makes the higher cost of renewable energy less of an issue.

“Renewable bio-energy costs more to produce, and we voluntarily pay a premium price to our suppliers for the renewables we consume. It’s important that we invest in better technology so we’re not passing our higher utility costs on to our customers.”