The retail industry is vital to the whole of the United States economy. An estimated two-thirds of the US gross domestic product (GDP) comes from retail sales.
“Retail, directly and indirectly, supports 42 million jobs, provides $1.6 trillion in labor income and contributes $2.6 trillion annually to U.S. GDP.” (Select USA).
But operating a retail business can also have high overhead.
When it comes to energy expenses, there’s a pretty good chance that a retail business is paying too much. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified energy savings potential of up to 41% for retail stores (up to 21% for supermarkets) with effective energy management.
Retailers spend an estimated $20 billion on energy expenses each year!
One of the key ways a retailer may save is through energy upgrades.
Here are some of the key points to know to pay the lowest possible amount for energy in the retail sector.
Save Tens of Thousands
Energy upgrades may save a business thousands, even tens of thousands per year.
Considering that about 95% of the retail industry is privately or independently owned, you may not know what choice you have in dealing with a public utility. It is not uncommon for a business to assume that a utility bill is just fixed, by various unknown factors, and a business may not have much say in rates, much less in such “add-ons” as energy upgrades.
Yet your retail business does have a choice!
One of the biggest ways to save is through energy upgrades–and there are many ways those upgrades can cost you little-to-nothing. Energy upgrades may pay for themselves through such possibilities as:
- Tax incentives or credits,
- Surplus energy credits,
- Buy-back agreements to the local utility,
- Financing options which extend payments to closely match ROI rates,
- And more!
Given the many options available, it is possible to know the exact timeline for ROI (return on investment) for any upgrade that may include an out-of-pocket expense.
In some cases, upgrades end up costing nothing directly to the retailer!
Upgrades Available to Retailers
Energy upgrades available to retailers vary widely depending on your location, facility specifics, and type, as well as many other factors.
Some of the biggest ways in which retailers can upgrade to save on utility bills include:
- Structural changes such as roofing, insulation, or solar directing (using solar direction to heat in colder climates, or redirecting sunlight for improved cooling in warmer climates);
- Appliance upgrades for more efficient refrigeration or other appliance needs;
- Lighting upgrades, such as LED lighting, motion-activated lighting or reduced off-hours lighting;
- Smart thermostats, thermal energy storage (TES), and other heating or cooling upgrades;
- Timing changes to adjust peak usage expenses;
- Onsite energy storage (batteries) or energy generation (natural gas generators, solar panels, etc).
With so many options available, retailers have the power to reduce or even eliminate their utility bill, by getting partially or fully off the utility grid.
Where to Start
With so many options available to retailers, and so many differing outside factors (such as geographic location or building lease/ownership agreements), it can be difficult for a retail business to even know where to begin to find commercial energy savings.
Fortunately, at Energy Professionals our sole mission is to save our energy partners money while helping you achieve your sustainability goals.
We know how to dig into the nitty-gritty, such as billing accuracy, but also how to effectively engage in long-range planning, such as setting and achieving energy independence objectives.
Let us work with you, through a free energy audit, to independently evaluate the potential savings and upgrades for your retail energy bill.
Contact us today to get started!
This articles was originally posted at: https://www.energyprofessionals.com/energy-news/retailers-save-money-with-energy-upgrades/ on