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Energy Management System Saves Retailers $20M Annually

AutoZone, Family Dollar, and other retail stores, each are saving on average $20 million annually in energy costs with a typical return on investments in less than 18 months with Venstar’s Surveyor Energy Management System (EMS).

As an example, Family Dollar says it has reduced its energy use by an average of 22 percent per store, which translates into millions of dollars annually, with 6,700 stores equipped with the Surveyor EMS. The retail chain also realized a ROI in 18 months.

Designed for small-box retail chains, Surveyor EMS allows multi-location businesses to remotely monitor, control and manage their HVAC and lighting/electrical and mechanical systems in all their stores, which gives them visibility into their energy use.

The system works by installing sensors on each piece of the user’s energy-consuming equipment, which communicate to the user’s Surveyor system via the Internet. The sensors can be added to virtually any manufacturer’s equipment, allowing users to retrofit their existing equipment without buying new equipment, says Venstar.

Some of the biggest manufacturers in HVAC, including Carrier and York, have Surveyor controls available as a factory-installed option.

Although the EMS application can accommodate hundreds of users, a single person can use Surveyor to control the HVAC, lighting/electrical, and mechanical equipment at thousands of locations. Using a desktop computer, laptop or telephone, the user has immediate access to Surveyor from virtually anywhere there is cellular or WiFi coverage.

Users can make global changes, changes by state or region, or changes to individual stores via the Internet, allowing the retailers to adjust their systems to meet specific store or regional requirements.

In addition, Surveyor can automatically adjust HVAC, lighting/electrical and mechanical systems to accommodate day-to-day store schedules. Users can also make adjustments on demand to handle last-minute schedule changes, such as extra hours, unusual maintenance or inventories. It also allows for multiple pre-set schedules.

The Surveyor solution also provides custom, standard and exception reporting, along with real-time live views. The solution also features built-in user-defined security levels and is highly configurable to meet each store’s requirements such as for security levels, access, and specific needs of facilities or energy managers.

Meanwhile, General Electric has adopted Advanced Telemetry’s EcoView smart energy management system for light commercial and residential applications for select home builders across North America.

General Electric is working with a select group of home builders and developers to design homes that achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in household energy use, indoor water consumption and overall carbon emissions as compared to industry-accepted average new homes.

EcoView Residential’s flat screen interactive touch-screen communicates wirelessly with metering devices that measure a home’s electricity and water consumption, providing real-time, graphical illustrations of, and control over, energy use or generation.

By providing real-time information on energy and resource use, home owners and tenants will be able to pinpoint and minimize consumption from devices ranging from flat screen TVs to computers and light bulbs, says Advanced Telemetry.

In addition to EcoView Residential, all homes being built by GE customers are equipped with a variety of energy-efficient products including GE’s Energy Star appliances and Energy Smart compact fluorescent lighting package.

Advanced Telemetry says there are five considerations that businesses should keep in mind when choosing an energy management system.

Energy expert Peter Garforth also has said that to implement an effective corporate energy management system, businesses need a combination of senior management support, good data, clear targets and technical, managerial and economic resources, as well as consistent implementation over decades.

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