first Charge point customer Joe and Melissa

Rutherford Hill first charge point customer

Deep Green

MCE Solar & Wind Renewable Energy

Opus One 2030 Vision I

Opus One 2030 Vision I

Opus One 2030 Vision II

Opus One 2030 Vision II

Down to Earth Month: Going Green Energy & Incentives for EV Chargers

Energy efficiency is a core priority for Napa Green Wineries, both for conservation and cost-savings. Maximizing efficiency is especially important when considering the installation of solar renewable energy. As we say, “We don’t want to solarize inefficiencies.” The more efficient the operation, the smaller the scale and footprint of the solar array, reducing the price tag.

But here in Napa County we are lucky that wineries do not have to install their own solar arrays (although many have) to get 100% renewable energy. A few years back the County opted into the Community Choice Energy, Marin Clean Energy (MCE) program because they guarantee a 60% renewable portfolio (PG&E averages 29%). MCE customers can opt into their “Deep Green” program and receive 100% solar and wind-generated electricity produced right here in California. This reduces the carbon footprint of electricity to zero.

Opus One Goes Deep Green

Opus One became a Napa Green Certified Winery in 2018. As part of continuing improvement, they have been focused on energy efficiency; the Green Team wanted a near-term, practical way to make meaningful change. We shared that the easiest step would be to go “Deep Green.” Facility Manager Susan Mitchell says a lightbulb immediately went off (pun intended).

The momentum for sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint has been growing. We have been working on a 2030 Vision Plan and leadership is focused on sustainability and climate action throughout the entire winery and in the vineyard.

- Susan Mitchell, Facility Manager at Opus One

Susan connected with Chris Kubik, Business Relationship Manager with MCE, and says, “She could not have been more helpful.” It was a no brainer when they discovered that for a small premium of just $0.01/kWh, Opus One could have 100% renewable, regionally-sourced electricity. 

Opus One has shared their Deep Green commitment via their company newsletter, during staff meetings, and in a video for the Board of Directors. The Sales & Hospitality teams have also added Deep Green to their sustainability talking points. Susan shares, “Our team really cares about this positive impact, and now we are exploring the next level – installing our own solar array.”

Susan shared that Opus One is focused on local solutions. It clearly resonated that MCE is a local service provider delivering locally-sourced energy.

- Chris Kubik, Business Relationship Manager at MCE

Rutherford Hill Welcomes Electric Vehicles 

With roughly 150,000 Electric Vehicles (EV) being sold annually in California, Rutherford Hill Winery wanted to provide their customers with EV chargers. Juan Moreno, Facilities Manager, led the charge. EV charger rebates from MCE helped to make the business case. MCE customers receive $3,000 per authorized EV charger port, or $3,500 per port if the charger is on Deep Green.

Getting the rebates was simple and painless, and the MCE team was flexible as our timeline changed. We went with ChargePoint chargers because they provide added insight on who is using the chargers, and we can give our Club Members a code for free EV charging. Many guests have shared that they appreciate the chargers.

- Juan Moreno, Facilities Manager at Rutherford Hill Winery​

While the rebates were seamless, Juan shared their two biggest challenges: permitting and electrical costs to install the conduit. Rutherford Hill began the process of installing EV chargers in 2019 but the permitting process delayed installation for over a year. Thankfully, if you are interested in installing EV chargers you will not face these same hurdles. As of April 2021, all of the cities and County of Napa are now in compliance with AB1236, which requires streamlined permitting for EV installation. All permit applications for EV chargers are now allowed to bypass the Planning department and go straight to the Buildings department for approval.

I’ve prepared for expansion. We already have three employees with electric vehicles. As we are able to welcome more guests back to the winery, we are looking forward to seeing more and more EV customers. The chargers may inspire some new visitors to experience our wines.

Making the commitment to third party certification takes time and effort, but it is worth it to demonstrate our commitment to the community and to protect our watershed, our land and the air we breathe.​

- Susan Boswell, Chateau Boswell Winery