Energy and Smart Building Industry Blog

Grocery Chain Reduces Energy Across Complex Building Systems


For years, PhoenixET has been helping energy and facility managers gain precise building management control over thousands of locations. Having control drastically saves money, cuts down on energy consumption, and allows for strategic decision-making, using data analysis across thousands of data points. This post examines how a major grocery chain is reaching significant energy and operational efficiency goals, through Phoenix's innovations that integrate complicated and disparate building systems.

About the Customer

The customer is a national grocery retailer with over 1,900 stores across 20 well-known banners, throughout the states. Aside from business goals to reduce energy, the customer has publicly pledged a series of energy commitments to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Challenge

The customer's portfolio includes multiple divisions, with many disparate building management systems and a large variety of hardware. This situation makes centralizing energy management exceptionally challenging.  

Despite the complexities involved, the customer required a solution that would enable:

  • Real-time Visibility - Visibility into the real-time performance of their refrigeration, HVAC, and lighting at the equipment level across their enterprise. 
  • Energy Reductions - Energy reductions that would meet corporate ROI requirements.
  • Proactive Maintenance - Proactive maintenance processes on identified energy and building efficiency opportunities.
  • Data Capture - Ability to validate energy savings through a Measurement & Verification (M&V) process.
  • Integrations - Ability to integrate multiple IoT data points into one centralized platform.


The Solution

Phoenix set the guidelines and deployed integration of their Enterprise Data Xchange (EDX)® with Building Intelligence (BI) reporting across all the customer's locations and divisions. Phoenix also set up a management process to work through orders/dispatches on opportunities identified through Phoenix's energy control measures (ECM), where remote fixes are not possible.

The overall goal was to reduce energy consumption through specific ECM strategies, which included:

  • Suction Float Optimization – Energy Management pressure control strategy utilizing electronic rack controllers to automatically adjust the refrigeration system suction pressure setpoint based upon actual temperatures at the cases.
  • Discharge Float - Process of using ambient temperature to allow the pressure to be adjusted instead of the valve system being used, the pressure is allowed to 'float', automatically following outside air temperature thus reducing load on the compressor.
  • High Defrost –  Identification of high defrost conditions and adjusting the time and temp termination to remove excessive electric defrost as well as well as impacts to product integrity.
  • VFD – Review the operation of VFD equipment for bypass, faults, failed ambient sensor, failed boards, or VFD’s not modulating and/or running continually above 90%.
  • Corporate Compliance - The ability to manage energy to Corporate Compliance setpoints and schedules. 

The EDX platform also enables the customer to apply for millions of dollars in energy efficiency incentives provided through utility programs.


The Results

Phoenix eases the burden of managing disparate equipment and allows for energy reduction through continuous remote commissioning. 

The customer benefits from:

  • Energy consumption reductions
  • Ease of implementation and work flow assistance 
  • A 3-5x ROI
  • An enterprise view and remote control of their stores that consolidates data for comparison and strategic decisions
  • The ability to qualify for millions of rebates and incentive dollars from utilities   


Learn more about what Phoenix can do! 

Another terrific example of how PhoenixET can make a huge difference on how major retail chains manage their energy to reach savings and consumption reduction goals can be seen in our National Grocery Chain Case Study. Download the study to learn how we helped this grocery chain reduce their energy by 4% across their locations with NO Capital Expenditure!


Additional Resources:

What Grocery Stores Are Doing About Cold Air Spillover
CASE STUDY: Spotlight on a National Grocery Chain
Top 3 Benefits of Benchmarking for Facilities Management

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