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Success Story

Ruby Jewel, Portland

Ruby Jewel, a Portland favorite depends on super-premium ice cream and well-functioning freezers. It is essential for Ruby Jewel that its product is kept at a consistent temperate and when its freezer was inconsistent, they knew there was a problem. Working with an Energy Trust of Oregon trade ally they found a solution.  

When your signature product depends on super-premium ice cream, consistency is critical. Any change to the air’s temperature or moisture content can mess with quality of frozen treats like the ice cream sandwiches that are Portland-based Ruby Jewel’s claim to fame. 

But Ruby Jewel discovered a problem. Its largest freezer wasn’t functioning as well as it could, causing ice to build up and refrigeration parts to burn out. In August of 2020 alone, the company spent $4,500 on freezer parts and repairs.  

Fortunately, a solution was in sight. Thanks to pandemic relief funds plus cash incentives from Energy Trust, Ruby Jewel was able to replace the freezer’s one-size-fits-all mechanical controls with a new system that runs on smart software and only activates as needed. 

Working with National Energy Conservers, Inc. (NECI), a trusted contractor with Energy Trust, Ruby Jewel installed the smart controls in late summer, when the demands on its freezers were the highest. 

NECI President Kim Elsey said the new system fills a similar function for Ruby Jewel’s freezers as a pacemaker does for a heart patient. The controls keep refrigeration pumping evenly across all the freezers and alert the Ruby Jewel team if there’s an issue. 

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