Chain Retailers Seeing More Than Retail Energy Savings In Outsourcing Their Energy Efficiency Needs
What began as a trend to “go green” is now making real differences in profitability and the way consumers see brands. It can really be the difference between “going green” and “going out of business”.
A Crisis at Traditional Retail
Chain retailers face fierce competition today on many fronts, not the least of which is just getting the customer into the store. Online sales continue to explode. And many retailers are slow to the party upgrading old buildings into attractive, energy efficient buildings that enhance the overall customer experience at retail.
Some national retail brands were early adopters in the move towards energy efficiency, evolving their brands as “green” or “smart tech” early on. Lowe’s signed a renewable energy agreement in November of 2018 which will provide for enough energy to power all 143 stores in Texas. Walmart has announced plans to emit zero carbon in its stores by 2040. And diverse brands such as Target, Ikea, and Giant Eagle have already begun energy efficiency programs throughout their U.S. locations. Today’s customer continues to reward them for it.
Still many others are seeing the benefits of outsourcing comprehensive energy efficiency as a service from reliable providers, and they have recently expanded their retail energy savings across multi store locations.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) reports that retail buildings account for the largest energy costs of any commercial sector in the country. Those energy costs mean there is significant room for retailers to reduce their utility bills and become more energy efficient.
Chain retailers must balance achieving these energy efficiencies with the potential impact they can have on operations and customer perceptions.
Take grocery stores, for example. Approximately 60% of the energy used in grocery chains is used to run refrigeration, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, while 30% is consumed in lighting. Changing a stores heating and cooling has a direct impact on customers and staff alike. Decisions on running truly energy efficient buildings can affect the overall customer experience.
In many cases, achieving retail energy savings today and for decades to come comes from upgrading an older space, either under the store’s own management or through an energy efficiency company. New equipment, lighting, HVAC, energy sensors and controls are just some of the ways chain retailers achieve long-term savings while enhancing the customer experience, drawing in new customers to traditional retail.
Energy Efficiency as a Service: A Resource Whose Time Has Come
Recognizing the broad benefits of being known as a brand who creates and operates energy efficient buildings throughout a commercial enterprise may only be the start for most chain retailers. How does one determine the right technologies to effect efficiency? How is this managed? What level of capital is involved? Should an energy efficiency company be consulted? How are these systems monitored, evolved and upgraded, and adapted as time goes on?
For many, outsourcing their energy management to achieve comprehensive retail energy savings is proving to be a viable strategy. Engaging with specialists to finance, upgrade, and monitor energy-using systems has been a transformative factor across categories, from big brands like AT&T and KFC to smaller shops and facilities of all kinds. Energy efficiency as a service (also called EEaaS) is a solution being offered by a new category of energy efficiency company. These providers are on the vanguard of the energy revolution. Many pioneering companies including Connecticut’s Budderfly, Inc. deploy smart technology and energy expertise that addresses every point of energy consumption in a client’s enterprise.
The right energy outsourcing partner can manage and monitor every aspect of a client’s buildings, from lighting to HVAC, temperature, refrigeration and more, installing and monitoring state of the art sensors to reduce energy use and deliver savings to customers beginning day one.
Some energy efficiency as a service companies guarantee the savings with no out-of-pocket cost to the customer. They can provide the technology and 100% of the investment in efficiency upgrades as well as the expertise to deliver the highest results in ongoing energy savings, without risk or huge up-front investment.
Achieving Energy Efficiency- Where Do I Begin?
Often today, there is a will but no way to begin a comprehensive strategy that truly makes an impact on both the bottom line and on enhancing customer perceptions that increase retail traffic. In identifying retail operating costs, energy is one of the top three expenses retailers incur.
Lighting accounts for 50% of energy costs for non-food retailers. The typical retail store costs $0.71/SF year. This becomes exponential for chains. Renovation that utilizes daylight and other natural sources through windows and skylights is one way to reduce lighting costs. Installing today’s LED and T8 fluorescent draw less heat and electricity, potentially leading to 10% savings in monthly energy costs alone.
Installing occupancy sensors to reduce lighting loads in storage rooms, back offices, and other low-traffic areas can contribute greatly to overall energy savings in lighting management.
HVAC accounts for approximately 45% of the energy consumption in an average retail business. Here, point of consumption smart meters, sensors and control technologies automate what most operations cannot, allowing for 24/7/365 monitoring and management.
Working with an energy efficiency company to establish comprehensive, integrated sensors and controls in these energy-using systems virtually ensures the beginnings of success for an energy efficiency program across the enterprise.
As we say at Budderfly, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
Automated controls and monitoring vastly improve energy efficiency and operational management. This enhances the customer experience both in aesthetics and comfort, as well as elevating retail brands in the eyes of today’s consumer.
Choosing an Energy Efficiency as a Service Company
As with most products and services, not all providers are created equal. As EEaaS pioneers, we at Budderfly have developed and refined our smart technologies to provide comprehensive, effective energy management systems that provide all these benefits of unprecedented retail energy savings in a system that if effortless for our customers.
In partnership with customers, Budderfly has removed all entry obstacles to achieving real energy efficiency in retail by providing all proprietary technologies, needed upgrades, monitoring, maintenance and sourcing into an easy, one-stop solution.
There are no up-front out-of-pocket costs for individual stores, entire commercial properties and shopping centers and full retail chain operations. Budderfly assumes all project risk, installation, maintenance and monitoring responsibilities. This guarantees savings using only Budderfly’s capital and allows customers to focus on their businesses.
To learn more about achieving real energy efficiency and operational impact and profitability starting day one and for decades to come, we invite you to contact a Budderfly Account Executive. Take control of your retail energy journey today.