CEDARBURG – From the frozen food aisle to the bakery display, supermarkets are energy-intensive businesses with tight profit margins. It’s something that second-generation grocery store owner Ryan Olsen knows well.
Two recent energy efficiency projects at his Piggly Wiggly store in Cedarburg have allowed him to maximize customer service while reducing energy waste and cutting energy costs.
Financial incentives to upgrade the store’s lighting and refrigeration equipment were provided by Focus on Energy, a statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program funded by participating Wisconsin electric and natural gas utilities.
“Partnering with Focus on Energy allows me to keep my store efficient and invest in my community,” said Olsen, whose family has owned the Piggly Wiggly in Cedarburg since 1984.
Olsen updated the store’s dairy department earlier this year by adding doors to the existing open multi-deck style cases. The doors improved customer comfort by reducing the amount of cold case air spilling into the store and improved the shelf life of many of the dairy products inside the case.
Lighting throughout the store was replaced with energy-efficient LED (light emitting diodes) fixtures and lamps.
“The light quality and appearance of the store was improved, while reducing our energy use,” Olsen said.
The refrigeration and lighting upgrades, which qualified for an incentive of $8,089 through Focus on Energy’s Business Incentive Program, reduce demand by an estimated 22 kilowatts and saves nearly 154,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 4,320 therms of natural gas. That is equivalent to the annual energy use of nearly 14 Wisconsin homes.
The store will continue to benefit from $15,290 in energy cost-savings year over year for the lifetime of their new equipment. In a grocer’s world, that is equal to the profit on selling 18,000 pounds of ground beef.
The Ozaukee County grocer is serviced by We Energies for natural gas and Cedarburg Light & Water for electric.
This month Olsen’s Piggly Wiggly will enclose their packaged meat and produce behind new cases with doors to further improve the shopping experience and reduce more energy waste.
In addition to refrigeration components and lighting fixtures and controls, Focus on Energy offers incentives for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and commercial kitchen equipment. For more information about business incentives, call 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com/business/supermarkets.
“Participating in our business programs helps Wisconsin employers manage energy costs and energy demand, while protecting the environment and promoting in-state economic development,” said Casey Langan, Focus on Energy spokesman.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.