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Most Retailers Using Energy Management in Over Half Their Stores, Report Says

Some 63 percent of retailers now have an energy management system in at least 50 percent of their stores, according to a report by retail and multi-site facilities management organization the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association.

The figures come from PRSM’s 2012 Benchmarking Report – its first benchmarking report on HVAC costs and best practices for retail and multi-site facilities.

The report also finds that 64 percent of retailers perform HVAC preventative maintenance an average of four times per year, and the average service costs for retail HVAC repair and maintenance is $.40 per square foot. The average cost of an HVAC service call-out is $493, whereas repair and replacement costs for condensers, compressors, and other parts can vary widely, according to the report.

Some 77 percent of retailers have their cooling systems set to within four degrees of each other, the report says.

The 2012 Benchmarking Report is a member-only publication and has been distributed to all PRSM members. It is available in the member-only area of the organization’s web site.

According to a report released earlier this month by software provider Verisae, small efficiency changes – such as those made to HVAC systems – can save retailers lots of money.

Submeters, consumption analysis and maintenance of existing systems are three low-capital ways that companies can significantly reduce their energy consumption, according to the report Ten Ways to Slash Energy Cost & Reduce Budget Uncertainty. The report singles out submeters as essential when determining how much electricity your HVAC and other systems are using.

Back in 2010, Justin Doak and Tasha Petty from retail sustainability consultants Ecoxera wrote a column for Environmental Leader on the wider challenges of managing the carbon footprint of a multi-site retail operation.

The consultants argued that the hardest step for any multi-site operation is gaining access to the real data that is needed to do a carbon inventory. Most retailers have access to a figure of how much electricity their company uses in a year, but fewer pull up store-by-store data just a quickly. Often this data problem can be solved by installing an enterprise-wide reporting platform, the columnists argued.

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