10-40% of current energy expenditure could be saved by the world’s leading food retailers. Using modernised products and methods, it is easy to save on energy costs and ultimately help contractors and retailers boost profits. Learn about the current state of play, where energy is used/could be saved, and the products required to save energy.
The State of Energy in Food Retail
The Carbon Trust identifies saving energy as one of the simplest ways for retailers to increase profits. Energy costs may represent a small proportion of sales turnover, but reducing energy use immediately increases margins without needing to increase sales. It is said that a 20% cut in energy costs delivers the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales revenue.
Food retailing is an energy-intensive business. Supermarkets in the UK are estimated to account for more than 3% of national energy consumption and the food chain in the UK is responsible for about 18% of the country’s total energy use.
In a sector where margins can be very tight, reducing energy expenditure, where possible, could provide a highly attractive boost to profitability, improved competitiveness and added financial security. On the environmental front, it also significantly reduces the carbon emissions of your business and enhances your green credentials. In the age of the socially conscious consumer, the importance of this market driver should not be ignored!
Where is Energy Used?
Since 2011, the market share of large grocery stores has fallen from 75% to 57%. This has been led through a change in grocery shopping habits and ultimately a rise in the number of smaller convenience-type stores.
Whilst the energy use of retail outlets varies according to size, product mix and the type of energy consuming equipment used, it is very often the case that smaller grocery stores use more energy per m2 due to a higher concentration of refrigerated space. As refrigeration accounts for the biggest power draw in food retail stores (between 30% and 60% of all energy consumption) it is here that we believe is the possibility for the biggest savings.
How to Save Energy
1. A clear overview of your entire energy estate
The proven Resource Data Management (RDM) system uses a standard internet browser to display, monitor and control energy-using equipment in a store, or across a nationwide estate. It gives you or, if you wish, your HVACR contractor or facilities management company, an immediate real-time view of everything that is happening in a single store or estate, from your desktop PC, tablet or smartphone.
Because the system is simple to use and transparent, it gives you complete control of the energy being used by your business. It enables you to remotely monitor and manage all the lighting, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration plant equipment in your stores, plus security and other in-store systems, at any time, from any PC, anywhere.
2. The ability to ‘drill down’ into a particular store, and indeed the fixtures within that store
Our software services operate at any scale of resolution – enabling you to monitor and control everything from a single component on an item consuming energy (say, a fan motor on a refrigerated display case), to store-level energy use, up to a national estate that includes thousands of retail locations and distribution facilities across the country.
3. Devices to link up individual control and monitoring equipment
The RDM network of products utilised at site level is typically based upon on a Data Manager (DMTouch - PR0510) that links up individual control and monitoring components on items of store refrigeration and HVAC/building control. This central intelligence unit gathers and processes millions of items of data and presents it – in real time – in an accessible and user-friendly form on the chosen device. This information can then be passed to our software tools for processing.
4. Built-in energy saving features
As all RDM products are built with energy saving in mind, there are a host of features available on different controllers for reducing energy consumption (e.g. refrigeration pack optimisation, trim heater control, night blinds check, condenser temperature differential, temperature performance indicator, defrost warning, etc.)
With RDM products, money is also saved due to the reduction of product failures (our ActiveFM™ software can predict failures before they happen), lower maintenance and servicing costs (a replacement part or maintenance is far less costly than an entire product replacement), and reduced stock loss (an early detection of failure significantly reduces the chance of a complete failure, and stock loss as a result).
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