As climate change issues continue to dominate the global agenda, it is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to play their part in reducing their carbon footprint. One of the most efficient ways to achieve this is by targeting net zero emissions – where a company cuts emissions to as close to zero as possible. This approach can reduce energy bills and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Retail stores can improve their likelihood of achieving their net zero targets by integrating an energy management system (EMS) into their facilities. Below we identify the top five ways an EMS can help reduce utility bills, gain operational efficiencies, and ultimately achieve net zero goals.
Reducing Energy Consumption
The first and most significant way to work toward net zero emissions is to reduce energy consumption. An EMS uses data collection and analysis to track energy usage in real time. This information helps identify usage trends and leads to the implementation of energy-saving measures, such as adjusting lighting and HVAC systems. An EMS can even automate HVAC and lighting schedules to automatically reduce energy consumption during peak demand times or when energy coming from the grid is the dirtiest.
Having access to real-time energy data enables store managers to take immediate action when usage spikes. For example, an EMS can identify when an HVAC unit malfunctions and begins drawing in excess energy to operate. A rapid response to these issues can save stores on energy costs and prevent additional emissions.
Smart Integration – Sensor Integrations
Incorporating smart IoT devices such as sensors into a retail store can streamline energy usage and help optimize energy efficiency. Retailers can use occupancy sensors to control lighting, air conditioning, and other appliances based on the presence of customers and staff. Another example is by using duct sensors to gather accurate and real-time data on temperatures and air quality.
Staff Training and Engagement
An EMS won’t be effective without proper training and support for staff. Encouraging team members to utilize these systems can help retail stores meet their net zero goals by training them on how to use the EMS properly, when to make setpoint (or temperature) overrides, and the importance of maintaining low energy usage.
Achieving net zero is an ongoing process. An EMS allows for continuous improvement by providing valuable insights into energy consumption patterns and identifying areas where further optimizations can be made. Regular evaluation and implementation of improvements ensure that retail stores stay on track.
How GridPoint Helped A National Retail Chain Accelerate Its Path to Net-Zero
Using the steps above, GridPoint was able to help a national retail chain reduce its energy consumption by over 20% and save over $4 million annually in energy costs. The retail chain’s energy management solutions included LED lighting retrofits, HVAC and refrigeration optimization, and advanced energy analytics all implemented with the help of GridPoint’s energy management system.
In addition to these solutions, the retail chain also installed on-site renewable energy systems such as solar panels, which generated clean energy and reduced their reliance on the grid. This helped the retail chain to achieve net-zero energy consumption across its portfolio of stores.
By implementing GridPoint’s energy management system, the retail chain was able to lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve overall sustainability.
Retail stores that wish to achieve a net-zero energy rate can experience more significant profits while doing their part for the environment. By integrating advanced energy management systems, companies have more control over their resources in-order-to reduce bills and accelerate progress toward negative carbon emissions.
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Read the full article "Achieving A Net Zero Retail Store: How An Energy Management System Can Help" on Facility Executive Magazine.