Accutherm News

June 1, 2022

9 Things Grocers Can Do to Reduce Refrigeration Costs

If you’re in the supermarket business, you know cooling costs can burn up profits. The U.S. Small Business Association says cooling costs represent up to 60% of electricity consumption for businesses that rely on commercial refrigeration.

Fortunately, grocers can fight back with energy-saving best practices. One of the most important is taking advantage of electronically commutated motors (ECM). An experienced supermarket refrigeration technician can go through and fine-tune energy management systems (EMS) parameters, perform sensor calibration and fine-tune expansion valve performance, or “superheat,” to determine proper refrigerant charge and system efficiency. 

Beyond that, you’ll want to address walk-ins, reach-ins and display cases. These cooling units can be huge energy wasters—and likewise great opportunities to increase energy efficiency and save money. Here are some tips that can make a big difference for supermarkets when it comes to reducing electricity bills:

1) Keep the cold in and the warm out – Make sure refrigerator doors are doing their job by sealing in cold air and locking out warm air. Make sure seals are tight and door gaskets and auto closers work properly to conserve energy and preserve food.  

2) Close open display cases — Enclosing them can cut energy use by 75%, translating into huge savings.

3) Group like items together – Organize similar items together in the cooler or freezer, so units are full but allow for good airflow and easy stocking of product.  

4) Store cold items immediately — Avoid straining your cooling system by loading newly delivered cold items into the cooler or freezer ASAP.

5) Give your system space – Make sure your refrigeration system has plenty of space around it so the heat exchange coils can “breathe” and keep your system running smoothly.

6) Clean heat exchange coils regularly – Keep coils free of dirt and dust so the compressor doesn’t work harder or longer than it needs to. Dirty coils can boost energy usage and shorten the life of your fridge.

7) Use LED lighting – LED lighting offers a triple win: it uses less energy, generates less heat, and improves product visibility to up the appeal of pricier items.  

8) Upgrade to EPA Energy Star-certified equipment – That Energy Star logo can mean a savings of upwards of 30% on refrigeration costs. Rebates and vouchers from local energy companies are often available to sweeten the deal.

9) Schedule regular refrigeration maintenance and system checks – This is critical to ensure you’re maximizing energy efficiency. It will also help you get ahead of any problems building in your coolers or freezers.

Need help? Have a reputable commercial refrigeration company visit your store to do an energy audit and troubleshoot any leaks or concerns. Once you identify where you’re wasting energy, you can move forward with saving it—and saving money as well.

Related Content

Contact Us Anytime
(800) 692-1228

Or, if you prefer, use the field below to email Accutherm and weʼll contact you.