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Supermarket energy saving practices and technologies.

The dominant retail force in Europe and America, supermarkets and hypermarkets are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the world.

Their strength in the retail market can be seen by the fact that, in the UK for instance, 75% of sales occurred in stores larger than 280 sq. meters.

From the financial perspective of their energy consumption, the supermarket business model is about high turnover rather than high margin and so any fixed costs that can be reduced will impact significantly on the bottom line.

From an environmental point of view, supermarkets need to reflect and be seen to share the attitudes and beliefs of their customers; customers are increasingly aware and concerned by carbon emissions and global warming.

This picture is common to the supermarket industry throughout the world’s markets.

How to bring about energy savings and increase energy efficiency in supermarkets.

The energy consumption of an individual supermarket will depend predominantly on its size, business practices and product mix.

Refrigeration accounts for between 30% and 60% of the energy use. Lighting accounts for between 15% and 25% of energy consumption in a supermarket.

The differences are mostly accounted for by differing sizes of supermarket.

Larger stores and hypermarkets tend to sell far more clothing and domestic items that are not refrigerated where as the smaller stores have a higher relative density of refrigerator cabinets.

Methods of increasing energy efficiency and implementing energy saving practices in supermarkets will also vary somewhat dependant on size.

In the smallest stores it can be easy to see where savings can be made but larger supermarkets are complex systems with centralised refrigeration, HVAC and heating systems. All this equipment is usually controlled separately and yet they all interact with each other.

Effectively, the only way to successfully reduce the energy consumption of the entire store is to install an energy monitoring and metering system. It is only when energy consumption can be measured circuit by circuit and area by area that a true picture of the supermarket’s energy use can be seen.

It should also be remembered that there will probably be pronounced seasonal changes in energy demand and so real time monitoring and analysis is vital.

Energy wastage can often be reduced by 10% to 15% simply by being able to monitor energy consumption in this way and make adjustments to existing controls, settings and working practices.

Savings in refrigeration energy use can be brought about by retrofitted, engineered solutions that reduce the number of refrigeration cycles that are performed without any compromise to food safety or quality.

Current trials of installing LED lighting for glass door freezer cabinets are projected to produce a 66% saving over conventional fluorescent lighting.

Intelligent lighting control throughout the sales areas and back areas will show a return on investment within one to two years.

Using LED lighting for both interior and exterior fittings will pay back in a similar time period and, due to their long life, have savings on replacement and maintenance costs as well.

In multi-floor supermarkets that have escalators, intelligent motor controls that will reduce power consumption at lower than peak loads are easily retrofitted.

Supermarket energy management is a marathon rather than a sprint, with savings measured in hour-to-hour and day-to-day increments. As such, the ability to analyse, interpret and record the energy monitoring data is key to the process.

Publicly displaying some of the energy management data can not only motivate staff but also inform your customers that you take the reduction of energy waste and carbon emissions seriously.

SureSense resources for manufacturing energy efficiency:

Eniscope is a hardware and software package that meters your energy consumption from a wide number of points and enables you to analyse that data in real time. Information can be collected from different areas, different circuits, all the way down to individual pieces of equipment.

Eniscope Anaytics is a web-based, diagnostic tool that allows you to study your energy information in an intelligent way making it simpler to understand and therefore act upon.

Eniscope Public Displays make energy consumption and energy savings visible to workforce and managers in order to inform and motivate.

SureSense resources for supermarket energy efficiency:

SureSense Lumia is a lighting control system that will turn lights off in unused or unoccupied areas.

SureSense LED’s used in a variety of applications can cut energy costs and also reduce maintenance costs compared to incandescent, CFL, neon, and other options.


SureSense Integra uses feedback from the motor that comes along the power cable to allow the motor to act as its own load sensor. Integra then regulates the power source so that it is matched to the load and the motor runs at it’s maximum possible efficiency.

For more information or to locate your nearest SureSense distributor please simply contact us.