Castrovilla, a subsidiary of renewable energy services company Blue Earth, installed equipment designed to improve energy efficiency at the convenience stores, including anti-sweat heater controls, evaporator fan controls, door closers and strip curtains. Projected energy savings exceed 9 million kWh annually and will reduce energy expenses about $9.5 million over the effective useful life of the equipment, Blue Earth said.
About $1.3 million in rebates from numerous West Coast utilities offset 100 percent of the material and installation costs, which allowed 7-Eleven to avoid any out-of-pocket costs, Blue Earth said.
Last October, Blue Earth, Gexpro and eCORE Technology launched a project to improve the energy efficiency of more than 2,000 independently owned gas stations and convenience stores. The first phase of the project, which will focus on gas stations with an average energy expense of $30,000, is estimated to cost $60 million.
Blue Earth last month completed energy retrofits in 358 Carl’s Jr. restaurants in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The estimated first-year energy savings is projected to be about $271,000 and the estimated five-year savings is estimated at about $1.6 million. The annual energy saved will be about 1,860,125 kWh.
Last year, 7-Eleven opened 100 eco-friendly stores in Japan based on a prototype the outlet opened in Kyoto. The prototype is equipped with light-emitting diodes and roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels. The LEDs cut lighting-related energy use in half and the solar panels generate up to a third of the store’s electricity.