Four Star Fruit reached its ROI on the Spara system in less than two months, thanks in part to utility incentive funding. “We achieved a 16 percent reduction in our bill in the first year, which was great and was more than we anticipated, ” Munguia says. “And in the four years since then, escalating energy costs haven’t hampered our growth. Spara has been instrumental in avoiding costly spikes on utility consumption.”
The company continued to grow at a rate of 10 to 20 percent annually from 2011 through 2014, and even with a combination of electricity price increases and DR payment decreases, Four Star’s electric bill has gone up only about 5 percent annually.
Munguia also loves the transparency Spara provides. He can see his operations in real time and fine-tune temperature controls. “As an engineer, the thing I really appreciate about the Powerit system is the kind of visibility I have into my operations. It’s a powerful tool with real-time advantages,” he says. “For example, with Spara I know instantaneously through alarms if a pump is not working or a fan is broken, and I can have it fixed right away. It used to be that people had to walk the system to visually check for these things.
“But the best part is that I know the temperature of each grape room — the quality-control experience has taken us into the
21st century. Spara has proved to be one of the best operational tools available.”