Energy and Smart Building Industry Blog

Driving Comfort and Safety Across PetSmart's 1,600 Stores During COVID



At the height of the pandemic, PetSmart contended with an increase in hot calls nationwide and decided how best to keep employees, pets, and customers safe and comfortable. Now you can learn from their experience in a recorded webinar with their Manager of Energy & Sustainability detailing how they adjusted their energy strategy to achieve significant benefits, with surprising little increase in energy spend.

Decisions to make

To paint the scene, PetSmart, who was deemed an essential retail service in providing food, medicine, and care to pets across the country during pandemic lockdowns, was seeking solutions to keep employees as safe as possible. They concluded that the best way to do that was to facilitate store comfort to encourage staff to wear their PPE throughout busy and often physically demanding shifts.

The summer weather was also starting to heat things up at the time, with hot calls throughout their 1,600 stores significantly increasing. It was clear masks were adding to the discomfort people were feeling. 

A revised energy strategy

PetSmart partnered with PhoenixET to develop a new energy strategy with a monitoring system to help them proactively isolate where issues are developing and gauge results throughout their locations. The spike in employee morale was one of the first indications that their changes were working. Employee, pet, and customer comfort was greatly increased and hot calls severely diminished. 

LEARN HOW: Optimizing buildings for COVID to Increase Comfort & Safety

Energy setpoints

Through their new strategy, PetSmart learned that turning up setpoints overnight when the outdoor temp is lowest, there's no solar heat load, and TOU rates are cheapest is not the best course of action. This traditional way of looking at setpoints does not consider the load on systems during daylight hours when you are chasing comfortable setpoints. They found that the conventional way of looking at setpoints provides little savings, with a high cost to occupant comfort.

Download the recording to hear Rachael Ruelas, PetSmart's Manager of Energy & Sustainability, detail:

  • The challenges PetSmart faced in keeping occupants cool
  • How PhoenixET helped them isolate a better energy strategy
  • What data is showing about how their new strategy is working  
  • How PetSmart intends to adjust their energy strategy going forward

We welcome you to download the recording now to learn more.

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