Retail companies consume a lot of energy affecting their energy expenses. By implementing simple energy conservation measures, organizations can cut energy costs.

FREMONT, CA: Organizations are always observant of the cash inflow and the overheads. To curb the cash outflow, traditional methods such as wage cuts, roster changes, and job losses are still in practice. However, energy expenses are often overlooked. Depending on the nature of the business, energy expenditure can make a huge difference. Vigilant monitoring of the usual suspects such as lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation and refrigeration and adhering to proper energy conservation measures can reduce energy consumption.  

Lighting is one of the critical elements of a retail outlet and it should be taken into consideration while designing a new building or retrofitting an old one.  To tackle low-cost measures and excess energy consumption, educating the staff about energy usage based on what the company is trying to achieve. The management must ensure that light switches are labeled adequately so that the team can choose only the needful.  It is acknowledged that poor maintenance of lighting equipment can hamper the performance by 35 percent and increase energy consumption and costs. Thus, it is essential to keep the lights dust free and properly serviced.

For a retail outlet, heating is equally as responsible as lighting for energy consumption. Some measures can be taken to improve heating efficiency, such as a proper door policy. Leaving the front door open for customer’s easy access affects the internal heating systems as it has to compensate for it and increases energy usage. Installing an automatic or revolving door can drastically reduce energy consumption. An efficient heat control system can assist in setting temperature and usage patterns to save energy and cost. Further, a compensator can be used to regulate the temperature in the building based on the outside temperature. Additionally, regular maintenance of existing equipment drives energy savings.

The heat generated by lighting, IT equipment, staff, and customers indicates that ventilation and air conditioning is essential. However, it affects energy consumption, and specific measures such as natural ventilation can be taken to reduce energy expenditure.  It is valid only in certain situations, but it still provides relief for the high energy-consuming methods of mechanical ventilation. Organizations should use natural ventilation through vents, doors, and windows wherever applicable. The management must ensure that heating and cooling are never operating at the same time as they cancel each other out. A substantial gap between the operations of both systems ensures optimum efficiency. 

In the case of food retailers, refrigeration accounts for up to 50 percent of the total electricity bill. To reduce energy costs, retailers must take measures such as ensuring that chiller doors are shut to avoid heat from entering. Overstocking the refrigerating unit puts pressure on the cooling and increases energy consumption. Investing in highly efficient equipment could achieve substantial savings over the course of time. Energy expenses add up and create a significant difference in organizations' spending and profits. Efficient and simple energy conservation measures can help an organization in cutting expenditure.

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