Maximizing Energy Use
Are retailers ignoring the low-hanging fruit when it comes to saving energy? While many chains tend to focus their conservation efforts on new construction, they sometimes overlook opportunities for efficiencies in their existing buildings. In doing so, they may be missing out on a significant way to boost profitability.
“The median age for all commercial buildings is 30.5 years, and now is the time to focus on what can be done in these buildings to capture efficiencies,” said Brian Ricci, director of sales, TAC, Strategic Accounts–Retail, an affiliate of Schneider Electric, in a presentation at Schneider’s Retail Energy Seminar, which was held in September.
The opportunities abound. For example, only 45% of existing retail and service buildings have pro-active heating- and ventilation-maintenance programs, Ricci said, and only 28% have installed energy-efficient lighting ballasts. Less than 5% have implemented variable air-volume HVAC systems.
Among the energy-saving options to be considered, according to Ricci, are demand limiting, daylight harvesting or dimming, HVAC economizer controls, exhaust-fan controls and shift-off balers.
“Retailers can also reduce energy use in existing buildings with O&M [operations and maintenance] and recommissioning,” Ricci said. Specific measures to be taken in this area include:
- Optimize temperature setpoints;
- Utilize demand control ventilation;
- Use an economizer operation;
- Optimize lighting and HVAC scheduling;
- Employ power-management enabling for PCs, printers and copiers;
- Turn off registers and other plug loads at night; and
- Specify ENERGY STAR equipment.
Energy use can also be reduced via various lighting measures, including retrofits to more efficient lamps (high performance T8/T5, compact fluorescents and LED exit signs), and by the use of occupancy sensors in backrooms, restrooms and refrigerated cases.
“Daylight harvesting with skylights is another measure to consider,” Ricci added.
With energy costs accounting for up to 8% of a company’s operating costs, it is in a retailer’s best interest to make the most of its energy, Ricci advised.
“Be conscious of the interaction of energy-conservation measures, note the cost of different energy sources and partner with suppliers to address energy challenges,” he added.
Equally important, retailers need a better understanding of their unique energy profile, which will allow them a more realistic assessment of the opportunities for savings.
Best Buy LCD TV line to earn Energy Star label
MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy has announced that its entire line of exclusive-branded Insignia LCD televisions manufactured after Nov. 1 will meet the new ENERGY STAR version 3.0 requirements, including six Insignia models which will exceed the new specification for energy-efficient televisions by 15% or more.
All Insignia LCD televisions available at Best Buy stores across the U.S. by Dec. 31 will be ENERGY STAR 3.0 certified. For more information and an updated list of brands meet the 3.0 specification, visit www.energystar.gov/products.
Klein’s Markets joins Wakefern under ShopRite banner
KEASBEY, N.J. and FOREST HILL, Md. Klein’s Family Markets, based in Harford County, Maryland, announced that it will be joining the Wakefern Food retail cooperative. With membership in the cooperative, Klein’s will transition its seven stores to the ShopRite banner.
“Transitioning to the ShopRite banner will allow us to expand our offering throughout our store including a broader selection in our meat, produce, deli and bakery departments,” noted Marshall Klein, perishable director of Klein’s Family Markets. Marshall Klein also noted that the quality of the ShopRite private label brand was another consideration when deciding to join ShopRite. “Harford County residents will now have access to more than 3,000 ShopRite branded items, including imported specialty foods, that we believe will bring a new level of quality and value to our customers,” said Klein.
The Klein family becomes the forty-fourth member of Wakefern Food Corp. and will complete their transition to the ShopRite banner by the first quarter of 2009. In addition to providing its members with procurement, warehousing and distribution services, Wakefern is the marketing and advertising arm for ShopRite.