Supermarket Efficiency Measures a Slam-Dunk Opportunity

Refrigeration contractors don’t get many opportunities to “slam dunk,” but when it comes to energy savings opportunities for their supermarket clients, they can soar like NBA all-stars. Speaking at a recent meeting of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Jonathan Tan, director, business development, Hillphoenix, cited statistics from FMI and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing that although supermarkets in the U.S. bring in close to $700 billion in annual revenue, they do so at an average net profit of only 1.7 percent. In addition, although supermarkets make up about 2 percent of total U.S. commercial building space, they account for about 6 percent of total U.S. commercial building energy consumption. It therefore becomes clear that supermarket owners and operators are going to eagerly lend their ears to contractors who can help them reduce their energy costs. The good news is that there are numerous opportunities to help them do so, especially on the refrigeration side. “If you’re a supermarket owner or operator and you’re going to invest money somewhere, what better place to put it than into energy efficiency?” Tan asked. “Usually in financial dealings, a high rate of return requires a high risk, but that’s not the case with energy-efficiency investments — they’re low risk and very high return.” Tan noted the bulk of a typical supermarket’s energy costs are driven by refrigeration. Efficiency variations among stores in a chain can show where the greatest opportunities exist for contractors. In addition, he presented an energy comparison to illustrate some steps refrigeration contractors can take to help their supermarket customers reduce their energy consumption, save money, and increase their profitability. “Sometimes we make it difficult for ourselves and our customers because we can’t nail down the exact worth and value of our energy-efficiency initiatives,” he said. Read More
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