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Reducing Energy Consumption For A Large North American Retailer

A large American retailer set a goal in 2010 to reduce energy usage by 20% by 2015 over its 2004 levels. In addition to its lighting retrofit project, the retailer partnered with EcoEnergy in 2012 to reduce energy consumption in its stores. The project timeline is 2013 to 2019. Over the past four years, EcoEnergy ensured that the lighting and HVAC assets in each store operated in ways that maximized energy savings without affecting store comfort.

EcoEnergy assessed the stores in phases, defined a strategy. Then the renewable energy solutions provider designed, piloted, and implemented a solution. Finally, EcoEnergy managed the energy performance and related operations for the retailer across its store network in the United States.

The project was implemented in three waves. The first implemented controls strategies from the EcoEnergy’s knowledge base. The second provided electromechanical assets in every store with a proprietary energy management platform to collect time series data. The platform automatically aggregates this data and correlates it with external data like weather feeds, work order systems, and utility data in order to detect deviations. Dedicated teams act on the deviations. In the third wave, the platform analyzed longer-term data to show effective saving strategies and identify new ways to save energy.

Increased attention was given to stores that had higher energy consumption compared to the baseline year, known as “negative stores.” EcoEnergy helped reduce the number of these stores by 17% in the last four years.

Unoccupied load and consumption is another area of focus for the project. EcoEnergy wants to make sure that the energy usage during store closure hours is at a minimum. For approximately 40% of the retailer’s stores, the unoccupied load in kilowatt-hours has been reduced to 50%.

The performance of HVAC equipment is also continuously monitored to address inefficient assets. The utilization of an economizer improved by approximately 30%, asset performance improved by around 20%, and zone temperature compliance improved by approximately 10%, according to EcoEnergy.

The national retailer reported in December 2015 that its stores had reduced energy usage by 30% over 2004 levels, saving more than 8 billion kilowatt- hours over 10 years. Over the past four years, EcoEnergy has saved the retailer nearly 1 billion kilowatt-hours at a 6.7% reduction in energy consumption over a 2012 baseline, with the last two years being close to a 9% reduction over the same baseline. The retailer also set a new goal of reducing total energy usage by 2020 by an additional 20% below 2010 consumption levels.

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