Supermarkets: An Overview of Energy
Use and Energy Efficiency Opportunities
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Energy Use in Supermarkets
On average, supermarkets in the United States use around 50 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 50 cubic feet of natural gas per
square foot per year — an average annual energy cost of more than $4 per square foot. For an average-size (50,000 square foot) store,
this equates to more than $200,000 annually in energy costs and results in 1,900 tons of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere —
equivalent to the emissions from 360 vehicles in one year!
Refrigeration and lighting account for over 50 percent of total energy use in the average supermarket, making these systems the best
places to start looking for energy efficiency opportunities. Especially since the profit margins of supermarkets are so thin, on the order
of 1 percent, ENERGY STAR estimates that one dollar in energy savings is equivalent to increasing sales by $59!
Energy Efficiency Opportunities
Low-Cost Measures
>	Measure and track energy performance.
>	Establish an effective operations and maintenance program to identify and address
equipment issues before they become energy-wasting problems.
>	Calibrate thermostats to ensure that their ambient temperature readings are correct.
>	Take advantage of skylights or other natural daylight sources to reduce lighting during
daytime hours.
>	Set back the thermostat in the evenings and other times when a building is unoccupied, and
adjust the temperature for seasonal changes.
Cost-Effective Investments
>	Install occupancy sensors to reduce lighting and plug loads in storage rooms, back-of-
house offices, and other vacant or low-traffic areas.
>	Consider energy audits to identify areas where building systems have become inefficient
over time and bring them back to peak performance.
>	Explore more energy-efficient practices and technologies for refrigerated display cases,
walk-ins, coolers, and freezers.
>	Upgrade to more efficient lighting technologies, including replacement of T-12 lamps with
T-8 and even T-5 fixtures. Examine the opportunity to switch from high-pressure sodium
lamps to metal halide lamps in parking lots and consider upgrading to LED lighting for
outdoor signage.
>	Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified commercial food service equipment for kitchens.
How to Talk to Supermarket Owners and Operators
About Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency improvements may be essential to a supermarket's continued success and
the quality of the customers' shopping experience. Too much cold air escaping from
refrigerated displays, for example, may decrease comfort for customers and employees alike,
requiring simultaneous space heating and a significant overuse of energy.
Supermarkets Making a Difference:
Food Lion has been recognized twice as an
ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Energy
Management and has been recognized four times
with ENERGY Star's prestigious Sustained
Excellence Award. Since 2000, Food Lion has
trimmed energy use by more than 27 percent (2.43
trillion Btu) through new lighting, refrigeration,
heating and cooling technologies, and
company-wide energy management efforts - all
while adding new stores. Each of Food Lion's 600
ENERGY STAR qualified stores (over half of the
chain) saves as much as 86,000 kWh annually,
enough to power nine American homes for an
entire year. The associated carbon emissions
reduction from each of these stores is equivalent
to avoiding emissions from 19 vehicles for one
year or planting 26 acres of trees.
Giant Eagle ranks 32nd on Forbes magazine's
largest private corporations list and is a four-time
ENERGY STAR Award winner. It received the
ENERGY STAR for 19 stores in 2006, bringing its
total to 116 ENERGY STAR labeled stores, or 82
percent of its store portfolio. The company has
created a comprehensive energy management
program that emphasizes energy-saving
strategies and technologies, benchmarking facility
energy use, energy commissioning, power
monitoring, and energy procurement.
HEB Grocery (H-E-B) has been recognized as an
ENERGY STAR Leader, and is constantly exploring
energy-saving opportunities through new
technologies and innovations. For example, the
company requires energy-efficient lighting in
stores and parking lots, saving more than $3
million per year and reducing carbon dioxide
emissions by 78 million pounds. Other low-cost
measures such as closing dock doors, repairing
water leaks, and turning off lights when not in use
have also helped to save significant amounts of
ENERGY STAR® is a government-backed program helping businesses
and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.


Supermarkets: An Overview of Energy
Use and Energy Efficiency Opportunities
How to Talk to Supermarket Owners and Operators About Energy Efficiency (cont.)
By starting with low-cost approaches to efficiency improvements, significant savings can be realized and
leveraged into later, more extensive energy performance upgrades. The ancillary benefits include increased
sales, increased worker productivity, and enhanced reputation as "climate stewards," and will only add to the
bottom line.
Guidelines for Energy Management: Based on the successful practices of ENERGY STAR partners, these
guidelines can assist supermarkets in improving their energy and financial performance while distinguishing
themselves as environmental leaders.
-	Guides and manuals
-	Facility benchmarking
-	Training
-	Institutional purchasing
-	Technical support
-	Financing resources
-	Emissions reporting
-	Third-party recognition
-	Motivational campaigns
Portfolio Manager — Measure and Track Energy Performance: By measuring, setting goals, and tracking energy use, supermarkets
can gain control of energy expenses. Supermarkets can rate their energy performance on a
scale of 1 to 100 relative to similar buildings nationwide.
Perform Cost-effective Building Upgrades: Plan systematic building upgrades using the
5-stage approach in EPA's Building Upgrade Manual. This online handbook offers guidance
for each stage —from commissioning to plant upgrades.
Recognition for Achievements
Earn the ENERGY STAR: Buildings that rate in the top 25 percent of energy-efficient buildings
in the nation may qualify for the ENERGY STAR.
Other Resources for Supermarkets:
Food Marketing Institute, Energy & Technical
Services Conference
Edison Electric Institute, National Accounts
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Grocery
Market Program
Become an ENERGY STAR Leader: ENERGY STAR Partners who demonstrate continuous improvement portfolio-wide, not just in
individual buildings, qualify for recognition as ENERGY STAR Leaders. EPA will recognize building portfolios that have achieved
reductions of 10, 20,30 percent, or more.
For more information on ENERGY STAR resources and recognition,
ENERGY STAR® is a government-backed program helping businesses
and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.