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Taking Energy Management to the Next Level

BY CSA STAFF

Energy conservation remains a key priority for retailers as several factors, including new power plant regulations, threaten to increase volatility in the electricity market. Along with being a significant cost driver, energy management advances environmental goals. Indeed, it is typically the most cost-effective activity a retailer can undertake to become more sustainable, according to Marcus Boerkei, general manager of Siemens Retail & Commercial Systems, who spoke with Chain Store Age about how retailers can reduce their energy use.

What is the biggest mistake retailers make when it comes to energy management?

The biggest mistake companies make is not focusing on the information management part of the equation. At this stage in the EMS (Energy Management System) industry’s evolution, the sensors and controls on a location are not nearly as important as what’s ‘above site’ — the dashboards and analytics to help companies manage the gigabytes of data an EMS produces. The ability to automatically prioritize data to make it actionable — to the appropriate stakeholders — is what makes or breaks an energy management program.

How does cutting energy help with maintenance costs?

The answer to this is actually an extension of the previous question. The most successful retailers integrate the analytics provided by an EMS into their HVAC maintenance operations. For example, the system can be used to direct a service provider to pinpoint a particular issue prior to dispatch, and then to verify the work was done correctly.

Or certain issues can be resolved remotely or safely deferred until the next scheduled preventive maintenance visit, eliminating the cost of a site visit altogether. Siemens’ customers have saved millions on their maintenance programs through effective integration of the EMS into their vendor management processes.

What is the next step for retailers that have already picked the low-hanging fruit in terms of saving energy?

This has a three-part answer:

No. 1 is innovation. We are constantly introducing new capabilities and analytics to help retailers increase energy efficiency. These include psychrometric controls, intelligent DCV and advanced override management.

No. 2 is integration. It’s important to involve key stakeholders in the process, from HVAC vendors, as mentioned above, to finance to store design to energy procurement. By integrating these functions, energy management can be viewed as a strategic initiative.

No. 3 is load management. Participating in electricity load management programs, such as demand response or capacity bidding, represents not only an opportunity to reduce usage, but also a means of generating new revenues. By enrolling in such programs, our customers generate hundreds of thousands of dollars each year that they can use to invest in further energy-efficiency initiatives.

How can Siemens help retailers reduce their energy use?

In a nutshell, through effective deployment of the most sophisticated equipment and cloud-hosted software, combined with integrated services and domain expertise. Our focus is on maintaining and expanding a retailer’s energy savings over time. It’s why Michaels Stores increased its savings to 30% last year (for more on Michaels Stores’ energy upgrade, see August/September 2012 issue of Chain Store Age). This notion of continuous advancement of efficiency is the path we’re on with each and every Siemens customer.

How is the Site Controls platform different from other energy management solutions?

The Site Controls platform was designed from the very beginning as an integrated, hosted solution, long before cloud computing was popular. This helps retailers avoid the upfront costs associated with traditional approaches; it allows them to take advantage of continuous innovation for increased savings.

Another key differentiator is our client services support model. For Siemens, energy management isn’t a project, it’s a process — and we’re there as a partner every step of the way.

How do you think energy management solutions/platforms will change or evolve going forward?

It’s all about the software. We’re seeing continuous advancements in analytics and sophisticated control strategies that can be deployed across an enterprise. We’re also seeing the confluence of energy management, facilities management and energy procurement. There are exciting possibilities to integrate these formerly separate functions that will play out for years to come.

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P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 07:03 pm

Chatrandom
This notion of continuous advancement of efficiency is the path we’re on with each and every Siemens customer. Chatrandom

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 07:03 pm

This notion of continuous advancement of efficiency is the path we’re on with each and every Siemens customer. Chatrandom

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Fewer Accidents, Better Aesthetics

BY CSA STAFF

By Donald Landin

If you’ve ever slipped and fallen on a wet surface, you’re not alone. Each year, poorly maintained floors are responsible for more than 2 million customer and employee fall injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The result: billions of dollars in medical, insurance and litigation costs for businesses.

How can these falls and the resulting costs be prevented? While regular sweeping and mopping is beneficial, a comprehensive floor maintenance system can be helpful in preventing these slips and falls.

A key to fewer fall accidents, and better-looking floors, depends on implementing a quality, comprehensive floor maintenance system. The right combination of the right products gives you optimal results, ensuring floors not only look great, but are in great condition as well.

Finding the best floor care system doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by following these steps and you too can have shinier, safer surfaces:

• Research your options.

If you want the most reliable method, look for companies that offer complete floor care systems. In a complete system, products are designed to work together to deliver quality, effective results.

• Review product safety.

Another important factor in choosing a maintenance system is whether its products meet the ANSI B101 floor safety standards. Under wet conditions, some flooring products can lead to more accidental falls, rather than helping to prevent them.

Choose products that have received a “high traction” certification by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), meaning they’re linked with the lowest probability of slipping.

According to the NFSI, “high traction” walkways, which have a wet SCOF value of 0.60 or greater, have been proven to reduce slip-and-fall claims by as much as 90%.

• Prepare and protect your floor.

All floor maintenance systems, from the easy-to-use to the most complicated, must begin with the same basic steps. First, dust and mop the floor to remove any dry debris. Then, scrub the floor with either a neutral or solvent-based cleaner to cut through dirt and grime.

After basic cleaning, you must select products to prepare and protect your floor’s surface — the final, and arguably most important, step.

There are a variety of floor care products available, each with its own pros and cons, so take time to evaluate your options. Here’s a brief overview:

Densifiers strengthen concrete floors by filling in pores and increasing surface density. However, they do not provide a nice aesthetic and often leave floors susceptible to dirt.

Impregnators penetrate below the surface to strengthen and seal stone floors. While the treatment deters water, oil and dirt from entering the stone, it does not completely repel it.

Topicals, also known as finishes, only affect a floor’s surface. To achieve a shiny gloss look, most floors require four to six applications of a topical. However, the treatments tend to scratch easily and require regular burnishing.

Protectors combine the benefits of densifiers, impregnators and thin topicals all in one. Generally speaking, this is a good option for floor maintenance. After a quick burnish, the best products can restore a floor’s luster in two thin coats. Hydrophobic protectors are ideal because of their ability to repel water, leaving a less slippery walking surface.

Slips and falls happen. Take a step in the right direction toward safer walkways and implement a smart floor care system today.

Donald Landin, Ph.D., is a senior technical service specialist with 3M.

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R.Costa says:
Mar-09-2013 10:12 am

floor management and other remedies
The benefits of good flooring is to prevent from the slipping injuries and accidents. What is important is to check the flooring system management and that's too with the help of the good company which can provide the total safety of the people while walking. Low traction may lead to higher dangers , these are some of the important requisites to see the safety concerns perfectly. Virginia personal injury attorney

R.Costa says:
Mar-09-2013 10:12 am

The benefits of good flooring is to prevent from the slipping injuries and accidents. What is important is to check the flooring system management and that's too with the help of the good company which can provide the total safety of the people while walking. Low traction may lead to higher dangers , these are some of the important requisites to see the safety concerns perfectly. Virginia personal injury attorney

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Focus on: Energy Management

BY CSA STAFF

By Sam Khalilieh

Study after study has concluded that adding doors to medium temperature coolers (MTC) is a great solution for a variety of issues that plague retailers. Whether looking at energy use, operational costs, product safety or consumer comfort, there is no downside to adding doors. So why do so many overlook this very basic approach?

Supermarkets have some of the most operationally complex and expensive building systems of all retailers. U.S. grocery retailers spend an average of $4.10 on electricity and 26 cents on natural gas per square foot annually. As much as 60% of the $4.10 goes toward refrigeration alone. Energy costs, especially those related to refrigeration, take a chunk out of their profits! (Consider this: Since energy expenditure is the same as profit margin for a typical grocery store — about 1% to 2% — a 10% reduction in energy cost can boost profit margins by as much as 6% to 7%!)

An open display case consumes about 30% more energy than a doored display case. But everyone continues to value-engineer their refrigeration systems and reduce their refrigerant charge, leaks and carbon footprint, as they neglect a pretty basic solution to the problem.

The industry has dithered about adding doors to dairy, beer, lunch meat and bagged salad and other medium temperature coolers for years. Some say that open cases are necessary to convey the “fresh” concept. However, most shoppers know that the first item in the case is never as cold or fresh as the one behind it, and you often see shoppers choosing an item from farther back in the case. With a doored cooler, shoppers feel completely comfortable grabbing the first item.

Another argument says that adding doors negatively impacts sales. Here, there are plenty of retailers that have experimented with doors, as well as quantitative research that supports making the change to doored coolers. Indeed, some grocery chains are adding doors to all their MTC in all their new stores and are also retrofitting existing one to add doors to their MTCs. An ASHRAE study entitled “Comparison of Vertical Display Cases: Energy and Productivity Impacts of Glass Doors Versus Open Vertical Display Cases” found that replacing an open refrigerated case lineup with a doored case lineup did not appear to negatively affect sales.

Doored cases also eliminate one of the biggest shopper turnoffs in supermarkets — freezing cold aisles created by cold air spillage from the cases. It’s common sense that shoppers spend more time shopping the aisle when they are comfortable, and the longer they spend shopping the aisle, the more they buy.

Another ASHRAE study, “Supermarkets, Indoor Climate and Energy Efficiency —Field Measurements Before and After Installation of Doors on Refrigerated Cases,” analyzed the impact of doors on the customer experience in the supermarket. Customers found the store environment to be more comfortable after the doors were installed. The study also notes that doored cases improve food safety by reducing large variations in product temperatures that can be found in open cases.

The idea of adding doors on MTCs may or may not be applicable to every product and every store. With the proper door selection (using a minimal frame), LED lighting, electronically commutated motors (ECM), tax incentives, the right product behind these doors and the proper messaging to consumers, it is a win-win for everyone. And for those retailers pursuing LEED certification, they will be handsomely rewarded with LEED points. But most importantly, they will be able to back up their sustainability message with actions that truly make a difference.

Sam Khalilieh, PE, LEED AP, is senior VP architecture and engineering, WD Partners, Dublin, Ohio.

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P.Lopez says:
Apr-01-2013 08:01 pm

ChatRandom
The industry has dithered about adding doors to dairy, beer, lunch meat and bagged salad and other medium temperature coolers for years. ChatRandom

J.Hams says:
Mar-30-2013 06:47 am

. But most importantly, they
. But most importantly, they will be able to back up their sustainability message with actions that truly make a difference. AodhfionnAonghus

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