Shop & Stop saves $4 million with energy-efficiency effort

Projects with Bluestone Energy included lighting retrofits and updates to the supermarket's refrigeration systems, which eat up 70 percent of annual electricity consumption.

Grocery store chain Stop & Shop Supermarket Company slashed $4 million out of its electricity costs over the past four years, with the help of energy efficiency consulting and engineering company Bluestone Energy Services.

Here's the thing, the projects weren't even rolled out to all of its 400 stores in the Northeast quite yet, so there is still upside savings potential.

Among the measures that Stop & Shop took to manage those savings, which came both in grocery stores and warehouses in several different locations in Rhode Island and New  York:

  • Installing electronically commutated motors, which is a really complicated way of describing motors that have variable speeds. This was focused on the company's refrigeration systems, which eat up approximately 70 percent of Stop & Shop's annual electricity consumption.
  • Retrofitting lighting fixtures with light emitting diode (LED) fixtures.

Stop & Shop reported that just one store in Smithtown, N.Y., produced savings of 121,000 kilowatt-hours during the project period. Overall, the energy-efficiency infrastructure changes made by Bluestone Energy have reduced the company's energy usage by more than 46 million kilowatt-hours over the past four years. The company estimates that it saw a return on investment with about two years on each of its projects. It should be noted that Stop & Shop was able to earn about $3 million in utility company incentives that Bluestone helped identify, which is certainly a big factor in that payback period and as far as the savings reported.

The remaining stores that haven't benefited yet from these energy-efficiency measures will be addressed during 2012, Stop & Shop reported. The company operates grocery stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Approximately 50 of those locations have earned certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) green building program.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com