Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has opened its first grocery store in Southern California to use naturally-occurring carbon-dioxide (CO2) refrigeration. The store, located in Rosemead, also is the grocery store chain’s first to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership.
Fresh & Easy’s sub-critical cascade CO2 refrigeration system, which is one of only four in the United States, according to the company, reduces the impact of the store’s refrigeration on the ozone layer by about 70 percent, as compared to industry standards. By using a natural refrigerant, the system has an approximately 50 percent lower global warming potential than traditional refrigerants.
The store earned a silver GreenChill certification award. Fewer than 40 of the nation’s 35,000 grocery stores have received GreenChill Store Certification awards.
GreenChill’s food retail partners have refrigerant emissions rates 50 percent lower than the EPA-estimated industry average. The EPA estimates that if every supermarket in the nation reduced refrigerant emissions down to GreenChill’s average, they could prevent the equivalent of 22,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere every year.
The supermarket chain worked with Kysor/Warren, the equipment manufacturer and designer of the system, and Source Refrigeration & HVAC, which handled store specific engineering and installation. Verisae provided the energy management system that controlls the system and the software that will be used to help Fresh & Easy track energy use and operating costs.
In addition to reducing refrigerant emissions, the company’s refrigeration units also incorporate several energy-saving measures. These include energy-efficient doors on freezer and dairy cases, triple-pane glass with an anti-fog coating on refrigerator doors, night curtains on refrigerators to conserve energy while keeping product at the appropriate temperature when stores are closed and LED lighting in all chilled cases
Fresh & Easy says its stores use about 30 percent less energy than a typical supermarket.
Fresh & Easy also uses LED lighting in external signs and freezer cases. The company also started a LED retrofit project in May that will have its medium temperature cases in its 159 stores retrofitted with LED lighting. All meat, dairy and fish cases will be upgraded to LED lighting, replacing the existing T5 Fluorescent canopy and undershelf lighting.
Fresh & Easy also has an effort underway to reduce water consumption at its stores. In August, the supermarket said it expects to reduce water consumption 30 percent across its stores by installing EnviroTower water conditioning systems.