Matson Fruit Success Story

Matson Fruit Company’s Jordan Matson (center) accepts a 2015 wattsmart Business Partner of the Year award from Pacific Power’s Hallie Gallinger and Toby Freeman.Matson Fruit Company’s Jordan Matson (center) accepts a 2015 wattsmart Business Partner of the Year award from Pacific Power’s Hallie Gallinger and Toby Freeman.

Back in 1908, Sven Matson planted his first apple orchard on 20 acres northwest of Selah, Washington. Today, Matson Fruit Company is still a family-run business, with several orchards and state-of-the-art storage and packing facilities in the area.

Pacific Power now has selected Matson Fruit as a 2015 wattsmart Business Partner of the Year award recipient in Washington for its innovation and leadership in energy efficiency.

The fruit producer has worked with the utility’s wattsmart Business program on six energy efficiency projects since 2011. Those energy-saving improvements are saving 956,810 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power approximately 62 typical homes in the Yakima area for a year.

Program brings financial, technical support

“We try to make responsible business decisions that impact our company and community in a positive way, so it’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts,” said Matson Fruit Company General Manager Jordan Matson. “Each one of us has the ability to make an impact when it comes to energy usage.”

Matson Fruit recently completed construction of an automated shipping facility that uses robots to pack and move fruit in cold storage warehouses. Installed with help from wattsmart Business, this automated storage and retrieval system eliminates lighting and refrigeration load in the space. The robotic technology will be replicated in other fruit storage warehouses in the Yakima area.

“Our project was new for our industry, new for our region, and was on an accelerated time table.  Pacific Power worked with us to keep it moving forward,” said Matson.

The company also upgraded the new refrigerated warehouse with energy-efficient refrigeration equipment and controls. 

According to Matson, Pacific Power’s program helped significantly in the decision-making process for the project.

“The technical support allowed us to weed out the good [options] from the bad, and the financial support allowed us to proceed with some of the options we would not have been able to otherwise,” Matson said.

Pride in ‘positive change’

Matson Fruit Company has received more than $131,816 in incentives from the wattsmart Business program since 2011. The company also is saving more than $46,921 annually on its electricity bill.

“Beyond the financial benefits, we take pride in the having the ability to affect positive change in our world,” said Matson.

Learn more about energy efficiency services and incentives for businesses »