For supermarket managers looking to keep their operations running strong, there’s a constant balance that needs to be struck. They want to use state-of-the-art equipment that will ensure the quality of their products – including, most notably, refrigerators – but they also need to keep costs low. To that end, energy efficiency becomes a key priority.
Because refrigerators are massive appliances that run at all hours of the day, they tend to take up a large amount of energy. It’s imperative that businesses find ways to keep their revenues high and their spending relatively low where this machinery is concerned.
How supermarkets consume energy
For supermarket operators, energy costs are a major, major concern. EnergyRight recently estimated that a typical 40,000-square foot grocery store in the United States will spend nearly $230,000 in a given year on energy alone. That’s a massive amount of money, and if it’s allocated unwisely, it can eat into a business’ profits significantly.
When it comes to electricity spending, refrigeration is by far the greatest expense. On average, 56 percent of supermarkets’ electricity goes toward refrigeration, ranking it ahead of lighting (23 percent), according to data from the United States Energy Information Administration. Ventilation, cooling and other very minor expenses account for the rest.
Ways to reduce refrigeration expenses
There are a number of ways that supermarket operators can reduce their outlays:
- Evaporator fan motors can change the way refrigerators are powered, according to Maced.org, which can in some cases drastically reduce their power consumption.
- Smart defrost controllers can optimize the way supermarkets freeze and defrost their products, which should help do away with unnecessary spending.
- Heat recovery systems can enable supermarkets to capture wasted heat from refrigeration systems and reuse it in other areas in the form of hot water. This lends itself to efficiency and sustainability.
Energy expenses are always going to be a major concern for supermarkets, but paying attention to refrigeration costs and adopting a few measures for increased efficiency can go a long way.