Cutting Down On Cooler Costs

Whether your chain is gearing up for LEED certification or just hoping to save on the electric bill, instituting an energy management solution can pinpoint energy waste.

leed certification sealEnergy reduction remains an ongoing quest for convenience store operators as they look for ways to cut costs in an effort to improve their bottom lines.

Building stores to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and seeking LEED certification is something more chains are pursuing, including Kum & Go, Kwik Trip and Quick Chek, which just opened its first LEED-certified store last month in Bayonne, N.J.

LEED is an internationally operated program encompassing the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). It provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built by implementing strategies aimed at improving performance in areas such as: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Beer Caves – The Perfect Beverage Refrigerator

beer cave in convenience storeRegardless if you are remodeling or building new stores, why not increase the use of your space and install a beer cave for your alcoholic beverages? Beer caves have grown to be very popular in the convenience store industry offering a bright inviting room for customers to browse their selection. Beer caves can come in any shape or size. They are all custom designed to fit your plans. Consider the advantages the beer cave can provide for you and your customers.

inside a beercave
Beer Caves allow you to have much more merchandise readily available to consumers.

Bright lights, glass doors and windows can make an old drab corner turn into an inviting alcoholic beverage oasis. It is proven that bright lights and colorful graphics grab people’s attention attracting more customers to the product. Customers like to see all their choices right in front of them. The beer cave consolidates all beer and alcoholic beverages in one area so it is easy for people to find what they are looking for, grab and go.

Anthony Transparent LCD Glass Doors with Video & Animation

Anthony, a manufacturer of commercial glass refrigerator and freezer doors, announced it will debut first-ever Transparent LCD Refrigerated Glass Doors at the 2011 NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) tradeshow at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

Anthony debuted this innovative new product with a 5 door display of Transparent LCD Refrigerated Glass Doors. Below you can see their iDoor Intelligent Merchandising display.

Lighting Efficiency of Incandescent & CFL vs LED

LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular in the gas station c-store industry. This is not only due to the lower energy consumption of the LED lamps, but the new lighting also makes the beverages in the coolers more visually appealing!

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors recently released their findings from a study on the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of LED lamps. Here is a summary of their findings.

LED life-cycle assessment

Light Emitting Diodes are among the most energy-efficient light sources available on the market. LED lamps are already today more than five times more efficient than incandescent lamps and future technical achievements offer additional potential for the coming years.

led-incandesent-compare

At present, artificial lighting accounts for around 19% of global electricity consumption – that corresponds to 2.4% of worldwide primary energy consumption.

Walk-in Saves Lives During Tornado

On Wednesday, August 19th, a tornado ripped through the village of Williamsville, IL leaving parts of the town a disaster with many home’s lost. One particular building that was in the direct path of the storm was a Casey’s General Store. When the storm rolled in, there were 9 employees and customers in the store. The entire front wall of the building was blown out leaving no shelter for the group in the store. Immediately they took cover in the walk-in cooler where they safely remained until the storm ended. After the storm, the only structure of the building still intact and left unharmed was the walk-in combination unit. Check with your local emergency center for the emergency plan that best fits your location.

Taken right after the tornado hit Casey's General Store in Williamsville, IL.
Taken right after the tornado hit Casey’s General Store in Williamsville, IL.
After store clean-up.
After the store clean-up.

Additional pictures of the damage.

Convenience Store Efficiency

The following article excerpt, Cooler Control, from the Convenience Store Decisions magazine, discusses ways to increase your walk-in cooler’s efficiency and decrease operating costs.

Convenience store chains can slash operating costs by as much as 10% with sound maintenance and general improvements to its refrigeration systems.

Operators looking for greater energy efficiency should cast an eye on their coolers, where centralized controls, lighting adjustments, basic ongoing maintenance and employee training can save them money.

“Coolers are typically an opportunity for improvements in maintenance and operational practices,” said Jerry Lawson, national manager for Energy Star Small Business and Congregations Network, a division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. “With all the different types of equipment in the c-store, coolers are a key piece of the energy equation, and they are typically the most expensive to run. With the right improvements, there is an energy efficiency dollar saving opportunity.”

Where to begin? Start with the obvious.
“Keeping them clean is the biggest thing,” Lawson said. “Coolers have to breathe. Keeping those coils clean allows them to breathe; they take the air in and expel air out.”

When taking care of monthly cooler cleaning, Lawson liked to pull off the back panel and take a cloth or other type of non-steel brush to it and clean it off, then vacuum or sweep the junk up off the floor. “That’s the biggest thing to keep them running efficiently.”

Matt Lauck, director of marketing for Retail Solutions in Kennesaw, Ga., a subsidiary of Emerson Electric, said that central facility management systems can be a major tool for achieving energy efficiency in coolers. Such systems give the operator the ability to optimize energy reduction by, among other things, tracking temperatures to make sure they stay within operational norms, which obviously also has implications for food safety. “Think of it as a programmable thermostat,” he said.