Rethinking Energy Management in Supermarkets

April 12, 2017 Jay Weiland

Grocery stores have some of the lowest margins in the retail sector. They sell on volume and a few key high-margin products like ready-made foods and wine. While supermarkets have traditionally found a happy balance, new pressures are mounting from competition with online grocery services and the rising trend of eating out, both of which continue to grow. These pressures are requiring grocers to think differently about their operations to find new ways to drive profitability. One new focus is on their energy spend.

 

What makes reducing energy spend so compelling for supermarkets is the multiplier effect it has on the profitability. The EPA estimates that saving $1 on energy spend has the same effect on profitability as increasing sales by $59!

 

Traditionally grocers have considered refrigeration as their largest energy consumer, accounting for 43% of total usage in the average U.S. supermarket. But new building controls technologies make unifying HVAC and lighting into a single energy management system cost effective. This is changing how some grocers are approaching their energy-saving strategies because HVAC and lighting account for almost half of a supermarket’s energy. We’re starting to see the supermarkets emphasizing HVAC and lighting energy consumption over refrigeration. And as supermarkets continue to switch to energy-saving LED technology, they are often required to install more advanced controls in order to comply with building energy codes. These are ideal opportunities to maximize energy savings by unifying lighting with HVAC and other building management controls systems.

 

To learn more about driving supermarket profits with lighting and new controls technology, check out our 3-part webinar series now available on demand

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