Based on the findings of a U.S. Small Business Association report, refrigeration costs can make up approximately 60% of total electricity consumption in establishments that rely on commercial cooling.
Nevertheless, there are many opportunities you can explore to help you maximize energy efficiency and eliminate waste.
With costs in mind, here are 5 essential tips/products to reduce your convenience store refrigeration costs.
Don’t leave display cases open
While it may seem obvious, an open refrigerator door can have significant impact on you operating costs. Research shows that open display cases consume four times more energy than closed ones. Refrigeration is a big investment for a convenience store, so if you’re serious about reducing refrigeration costs, make sure your employees know to keep the refrigerator doors closed whenever possible.
Additionally regularly examine these refrigerator door seals to see if there’s an opening that allows cold air to leak outside. Loose seals make the motor run harder to make up for the cold air escaping. Moreover, you should check the gaskets and auto-closers too to make sure they’re fully operative. If they’re not, then warm air will infiltrate the refrigerator cases, resulting in energy waste and product safety concerns.
If done properly, your business should see significant savings in utilities as time goes by. With that said, if you can’t make the investment, then use a curtain on display cases overnight or whenever your convenience store isn’t open for business.
Give the refrigeration system enough space
Just as you would inspect the quality of circulation inside the refrigerator, you also need to ensure that the cooling system has enough room around it outside. This is all to allow for good airflow, especially over the heat exchange coils.
Note that these should be cleaned regularly to get rid of any dust, dirt, or build-up and to promote optimal performance.
Go LED all the way
LED lighting requires significantly less energy than to light than its incandescent predecessors. And when installed properly, it emits less heat, which means an additional decrease in electricity usage to keep products cool.
From a preventative maintenance perspective, LED lighting also lasts longer than other options so you won’t have to change it frequently like you would with fluorescent lighting for instance. In addition to that, LED greatly improves visibility and showcases your convenience store products in the best light possible -which can be incredibly appealing to your customer base.
Store cold items immediately
When you load warm or room temperature products into your refrigerators, they have to work extra hard to cool them down. So make sure that any cold deliveries you get are loaded immediately to avoid overworking your cooling system.
Upgrade with efficiency in mind
When shopping for new appliances, make sure you go for the ones with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) star logo. Energy start certified equipment is known to save operators at least 30% on refrigeration costs on a daily basis. This is a promising saving opportunity, especially if your appliances need a replacement.
Upgrading the equipment you have to more ergonomic options is the best way to reduce your refrigeration costs as a convenience store owner. While this may cost a lot of money at first, the results are worth the investment, especially in the long run.