from any vendor for HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, etc., so
grocers can “protect legacy investments in these technologies longer as needed and giving them more leverage in
choosing vendors for these solutions in new construction
and store remodels and updates,” he says.
When combined with traditional energy savings from
LED lights, HVAC and refrigeration controls can not only
reduce food lost but also deliver ROI in less than a year for
most traditional grocers, Traflet says.
Refrigeration is one of the top concerns for grocers’ energy
bills because it represents about 60% of energy costs, says
Mark Dunson, group president of electronics and solutions
for Emerson Electric, St. Louis. While upgrading old refrigerator systems can have “hefty” installation costs, new
equipment can reduce energy by 30%-50%, Dunson says.
The rise of click-and-collect has made these upgrades
even more necessary, he says, because “repeated door
openings from workers going in and out of the cold storage
room or refrigerated locker—which only gets worse during
peak delivery periods—makes it extremely difficult to maintain precise set points and introduces humidity concerns.”
This strain can be reduced, Dunson says, by installing
high-efficiency compressors, distributed controls and
alternate refrigerants combined in display cases to offer a
lower cost of operation while other refrigeration units are
being optimized for click-and-collect use.
“By combining high-efficiency scroll compressors and
condensing systems along with supervisory controls to precisely manage functionalities, we’ve been able to reduce
energy requirements in these systems,” Dunson says.
“Continued focus on broader storewide solutions are
key,” says Collin Coker, VP of sales and marketing for
Houston-based Viking Cold Solutions. Thermal energy
storage is one of the newest “green” energy solutions for
grocers looking at storewide solutions, Coker says, which
the company has been implementing in stores such as
Whole Foods Market and Grocery Outlet.
Night Curtains Matter
Night curtains are another important way for retailers
to reduce energy and save money on winter heating bills
because “the heat is not going directly in the case, so you
can lower your thermostat,” says Kral of World Energy Efficiency Services.
While night curtains may seem like a simple piece of
equipment, Weeb Bunch, president and founder of Supermarket Energy Technologies, makers of antimicrobial
Night Shield night covers, says not all night curtains are
“Night curtains get abused more than any of the other
products because of the human element—they are pulled
down at night and released in the morning,” he says. “I
managed to say ‘released,’ but what they really are is
yanked on or kicked at, whatever it takes to get them back
up in the morning by the store personnel ... so quality and
durability is a very big issue.”
To help solve this problem, Bunch stopped outsourcing
his curtains from Asia and now manufactures them at a
plant in Phoenix, where the company is based. He says the
company is one of the first to do and that most others use
the subpar fabric.
savings by upgrading
Source: Emerson Electric
Night curtains get abused more than
any of the other products because of the
human element—they are pulled down
at night and released in the morning.”
—Weeb Bunch, Supermarket Energy Technologies
Retailers Set Example With LEDs
In partnership with Current, powered by GE, Walmart has installed
more than 1.5 million LED fixtures in 6,000 stores, parking lots,
distribution centers and corporate offices in 10 countries in the
past decade. The efforts, Walmart officials say, has reduced the
cost of its “largest operating expense” by more than $100 million.
The retailer’s major investment in energy efficiency has reduced
energy use per square foot by more than 12% since 2010 and
is part of its science-based emissions reduction plan aimed at
reducing emissions 18% by 2025.
Meijer has also partnered with GE to convert all of its stores
to LED by 2021, which retail officials hope will cut its annual
electricity usage by 50%.
The retailer debuted its first all-LED store in Beavercreek,
Ohio, in 2013, which Rick Keyes, president and CEO, called in a
statement a “great test that led us down the path to planning a
full-chain transition across our six-state footprint.” LED lights
not only reduce energy usage, Keyes said, but also enhance the
shopping and employee experience.
night curtains to
keep heat out of