The environment is something that we all need to be concerned about. But as a convenience store operator, you’re also concerned about keeping your energy bills as low as possible in order to reduce overhead. Today’s improved technology, says Energy Star, can be applied to all areas of your business, from refrigeration to lighting for greater energy savings.
The following quick tips, collected from Energy Star, U.S. Small Business Administration, and Convenience Store News, are meant to be a starting point for you to create the best plan of success for your business.
5 Quick Tips
- Lighting – Convert existing lighting to LED lighting systems. Switching from metal halide lamps to LED lamps can save a c-store $120-$150 per bulb per year, according to Convenience Store News.
- Refrigeration – Refrigeration may account for as much as 40% of your location’s total energy usage, Energy Star notes. Install Energy Star certified refrigerators and freezers, remembering to keep the doors closed when not in use, verify that the temperature settings are accurately set to the levels appropriate for the items in each particular unit, clean the cooling coils to maintain efficiency, and check the seals regularly to avoid unwanted leaks. CSNews also recommends upgrading to refrigeration units to Electronically Commutated Motors (or ECMs for short), as these type of motors will adjust their speed based on cooling needs to maximize efficiency.
- Heating, Cooling and Ventilation – Energy Star recommends a regular schedule of HVAC checks and maintenance, such as changing the air filters monthly and having your HVAC equipment tuned yearly; also, install a programmable thermostat and have your heating and cooling ducts sealed. Proper HVAC care is key to maintaining a comfortable and healthy store for your customers and employees, while also increasing employee productivity, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- Food Service Equipment – Outfitting your store’s kitchen with commercial food service equipment that has earned the Energy Star certification can lead to approximately 360 MBTU of energy savings a year, or roughly $4,800 annually.
- Office Equipment and Appliances – Remember many appliances still use power when they are not in use. Turn off and unplug equipment when not in use, such as back of house microwaves or countertop ovens. If your c-store is open 24-hours, it may be impossible to turn off some of your equipment, but remember that you could adjust the power-saving settings.
“Convenience stores consume as much as 94 kilowatt-hours per square foot because of the added energy demands of outdoor canopy lighting, wall-to-wall refrigerators and even the always-on coffee pot.”
– Convenience Store News
Plan For Success
Visit the Energy Star site to download the 43-page Energy Star Guidelines for Energy Management for a step-by-step road map for continuous improvement of your home or business. Here is a preview of the plan: