From supermarkets and car dealerships to fashion boutiques and hardware stores, businesses serve an important role as both economic providers and consumers of energy resources in the communities they call home.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the median retail store operates more than 90 hours per week. That’s nearly 13 hours of energy use each day for lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration systems and more. By proactively identifying opportunities to boost energy efficiency with timers and energy controls, you can decrease your store’s environmental impact while lowering utility costs and improving your bottom line.
Here are four ideas to help your retail business go green this year.
1. Schedule In-Store Lights and Displays
Just as store hours are set throughout the week, operators can tailor their in-store lighting systems to suit the needs of customers and staff by installing simple timer controls.
Programmable In-Wall Timers eliminate the manual process of switching lights on and off each day, which means lights are never left on to waste energy by mistake. What’s more, helpful features, such as automatic Daylight Saving Time, holiday scheduling and adjustable templates, make it easy to alter schedules as business needs shift.
Video screens, outdoor signage, backlit merchandise cases and other powered elements are also ideal places to insert timer controls to promote efficiency. For example, the talento smart™ Digital Time Switch is an excellent option to maintain accurate 365-day schedules for outdoor signage.
2. Add Occupancy Sensors to Limited-Use Areas
Many retail settings stretch well beyond a simple sales floor. Depending on your business, your location may include fitting rooms, storage closets, private offices, washrooms or other limited-use spaces that aren’t always accessed by customers or workers.
All too often, lights in these areas are left on throughout the day with little thought given to the actual need for them.
By installing occupancy or vacancy sensors in select spaces, you can be sure lights only turn on when individuals are present. Some estimates show this can lead to a decrease in energy consumption of more than 30 percent in limited-use spaces.
3. Consider an Adaptive Defrost Module
Cafés, restaurants, grocery stores and other food-oriented businesses that are hoping to do more to improve energy efficiency may want to look beyond standard heating and cooling needs when assessing their environmental impact. Refrigeration costs can account for as much as 16 percent of the average food retailer’s monthly utility bill, making it a smart area to improve efficiency.
By installing adaptive defrost controls, such as the DDFM ICUBE™ Module, in freezer and refrigeration systems, owners can significantly decrease the amount of energy needed to maintain optimal refrigeration levels while running fewer, more-efficient defrost cycles. When applied consistently, adaptive defrost controls can reduce defrost cycles by 40 percent or more each day, saving hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
4. Evaluate Parking Lot Lights
Does your business include a standalone parking lot?
If so, installing low-maintenance photocontrols, such as the NightFox™ Series, can be a simple way to reduce energy waste while keeping lighting schedules in sync with natural dawn-to-dusk patterns. Perfect for providing security at night, NightFox Series Photocontrols are designed to match the extended lifespan of LED fixtures, which offers long-term environmental benefits with limited maintenance needs.
By taking time to think through lighting and energy control needs, you can make an impact that’ll keep your business on track for years to come.
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