We know that when your business doesn’t waste money on energy, it adds to your bottom line. Of course, energy needs vary from one type of business to the next, so when it comes to energy efficiency solutions for small businesses, one size does not fit all. Lime Energy has completed tens of thousands of projects for every imaginable type of small business clients, and we use this experience to truly understand the unique energy needs of your business. Here is a review of the energy needs, and potential energy efficiency solutions, for grocery and convenience stores:
If you are a grocery or convenience store owner, then you know that operating your business requires a large amount of energy. In fact, the average grocery store in America spends about $4 per square foot in energy costs per year. While this equates to about 1% of your total operating cost, it is almost 100% of the average profit margin! That means energy efficiency can provide huge savings your small business.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, every dollar of energy savings for a grocery or convenience store is equal to increasing your store sales by $59. These statistics should motivate any grocery or convenience store owner to take a good, hard look at energy usage, and search for ways to become more efficient.
When it comes to grocery and convenience stores, lighting and refrigeration account for about 75% of the energy usage. With refrigeration using about 57% of your energy and lighting eating up another 22%, these are also the areas that present the most potential for savings if you can reduce your energy usage. What are some of the ways to make your store more energy efficient?
Power Down: When you are not using the lights, computers, cash registers or other equipment in your store, turn this equipment off so that you are not wasting energy. Every 1000 kWh saved by turning off the equipment that you are not using will save $100 on your power bill.
Proper Maintenance: Scheduled cleaning and maintenance of your equipment will help to keep your existing equipment in best working order so that it does not waste energy. Some areas to think about when it comes to maintenance and cleaning include: economizers, air filters, gaskets, condenser coils, door seals and refrigeration settings.
Temperature Set-Backs: Monitor your climate, and turn down temperature settings during unoccupied times. You should also adjust temperatures accordingly to keep up with seasonal temperature changes.
In addition to the easy low- and no-cost energy saving tips, you should also be thinking long term for energy efficiency solutions. When it comes to replacing your lighting, make sure you are using the most efficient bulbs and ballasts. Changing your T-12 lamps to T-5 or T-8 can use 35% less energy, while replacing florescent lighting with LED case lighting will use 50% less energy. There are several items to consider adding to your refrigeration system to ensure that it is operating in the most energy efficient manner. These include: a floating head pressure control system, anti-sweat heater controls, display case shields or night covers, LED case lighting and automatic door closers.
There are many incentive programs and rebates to help businesses like yours become more energy efficient. For more information on energy efficiency solutions for your grocery or convenience store, contact us today.