Energy costs within Spar facilities can often account for up to 2-5% of the total operating expenses within a business. With the price of electricity increasing anywhere between 8-20% annually as of the 1st of July depending on who supply’s your store with electricity, this breakdown of energy operating costs is continually on the rise. In order to get control of these costs moving forward, it is important to understand how, when and where electricity is being used within your facility in order to effectively manage electricity usage. Energy management is typically broken down between the following key areas being technology, control, behaviour and monitoring.

By addressing the type of technologies installed within facilities such as the refrigeration, lighting, air-conditioning and bakery equipment, significant energy savings can potentially be achieved by installing more efficient technologies. Installing certain control measures such as a timer on the bakery ovens, will ensure that these pieces of equipment are only running when required. Educating your staff around the benefits of saving energy on a daily basis is another good starting point to save on costs within your store.

Furthermore the adage “you cannot manage what you do not measure” is paramount to an energy management plan and reducing energy consumption and costs. By measuring energy consumption in real time, energy consumption can be accurately measured, managed, reduced and communicated amongst all staff by making a previously invisible cost visible to all users. Examples of the types of loads that a store owner may want to measure may include the main incomer electricity feed, the refrigeration plant, the air-conditioning plant, the bakery, the butchery and potentially the tops store for example. By monitoring the main incomer feed to a store, one can ensure they are always being billed correctly on a monthly basis by the municipality or land lord. Tariff analysis’s can be performed at the click of a button to ensure your store is continually on the optimum electricity tariff and therefore ensuring the least amount of monthly electricity spend as possible. The question then follows:

How do I understand what is applicable to my individual store in terms of the steps to become more efficient and ultimately save on electricity costs, and what will it cost me to implement?

The answer is to perform a detailed energy efficiency assessment whereby each and every aspect within a store is looked at by energy professionals within the energy management field. The outcome will be a detailed business case highlighting each and every opportunity within a particular store and the associated costs of implementing each initiative. By systematically identifying each opportunity, it will ensure that the correct action steps are taken and no easy wins are missed. Alternatively by implementing real time energy monitoring, the real time data feed will give a store owner significant insight into your electricity usage and potentially identify energy management opportunities straight off the bat such as loads operating overnight time periods when they should be off.

Should you be interested in performing an energy efficiency assessment or implementing energy monitoring at your store, contact the Spar Group’s nationally approved Energy Service providers Terra Firma Solutions for further advice.