Northeast grocer saves over $2 million with energy improvements

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Price Chopper/Market 32 has improved its environmental impact and lowered energy costs across five of its stores in Connecticut.

Facing increased strain on its supermarket infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic, Price Chopper/Market 32 sought to enhance operational systems while generating additional capital, permitting reinvestment in its stores and improving sustainability. 

The grocer partnered with energy efficiency firm Fairbanks Energy Service to design a "three-measure" project for the five stores based around HVAC, refrigeration, and LED lighting improvements. The upgrades are estimated to save Price Chopper/Market 32 more than 5,436,400 kWh and 47,900 therms annually – the financial equivalent of $2,198,000. Seventy-five percent of the project cost was covered by Eversource Connecticut by utility incentives 

The retrofitted stores feature modern LED lighting with occupancy sensors and controls, high-efficiency evaporator fan motors, rooftop unit demand control ventilation and fan staging controls.  The solutions are designed to lower the stores’ energy usage, ultimately reducing environmental impact while improving aesthetics, comfort, facility control and system output.

“We are proud to choose a project that addresses our sustainability goals while also lowering costs,” said Frank Blake, director of facilities maintenance & energy at Price Chopper/Market 32. “The work done by Fairbanks Energy Services supports our commitment to lessening our environmental impact. Their knowledge of Connecticut utility programs allowed us to save significantly on several important upgrades for our stores, and now we’re able to reinvest money we would be spending on energy as early as next year.”

“We were excited to tackle this project with Price Chopper/Market 32 due to the opportunity to support essential infrastructure and provide large kWh and cost deductions through strategic energy efficiency solutions,” said Ross Fairbanks, COO of Fairbanks Energy Services. “For every project we engineer, we work to provide the best possible savings for our clients, while improving aesthetics without sacrificing comfort levels. 

Based in Schenectady, N.Y., Price Chopper/Market 32 operates 131 supermarkets in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

In February, Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets entered into a definitive merger agreement that will nearly doubles their collective footprint in the Northeast. The new parent company will be headquartered in Schenectady. The Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets businesses will retain main offices in Schenectady and Williamsville.