Submitted by The United Illuminating Company
Retailers must keep a constant read on their customers’ perceptions and experiences to maintain a strong bottom line. While upgrades to aesthetics are obvious investments retailers can make to positively impact the customer, creating a more energy efficient environment can also considerably benefit the customer experience.
United Illuminating provides programs and services through the Energize Connecticut initiative to help businesses strategically manage energy use—making them more efficient and providing long-term cost savings. The added bonus comes with upgrades and improvements that create a more attractive and comfortable retail space.
New Haven’s Grand Fish Market depends on 24 hour lighting, seven days a week. Using no-interest financing and financial incentives available through the Small Business EnergyAdvantage program, the specialty seafood retailer made improvements to lighting and to refrigeration equipment late last year.
Upgrading to all LED lighting brightened up the fish market, significantly improving the look. Replacing dairy case fans and producing case curtains and fans also helped make the operation of equipment more efficient. The combined measures are estimated to save Grand Fish Market 18,698 kWh annually, translating to $3,365 in annual savings.
“We always try to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly and I love that these updates save us energy and money,” said Jose Cuapio, owner of Grand Fish Market. “Making the changes was seamless, which is important, there was no disruption to the business.”
Energize Connecticut programs connect businesses with resources to achieve smart energy solutions by identifying areas for improvement, finding qualified contractors and vendors, and providing incentives and financing to support updates.
Energy-saving improvements can reduce operating costs by addressing key areas of building and maintenance. A range of energy-efficient measures and improvements are available, including upgrades to lighting, heating and cooling systems, refrigeration, and natural gas.
In another recent project, the franchise owner of multiple Connecticut Dunkin Donuts locations took on lighting and refrigeration replacement to help create a more attractive and brighter feel.
”The lighting upgrades give a different look to our locations, it’s much cleaner and provides better lighting for customers and for our employees.” Frank D’Andrea, franchise owner.
“Maintaining efficiency is essential for cost-conscious operations and long-term sustainability in the highly competitive retail industry,” said Dennis O’Connor, Small Business Energy Advantage program manager at UI. “The custom energy solutions we present to retailers are intended to make store improvements and equipment upgrades tangible to help reduce operating costs and ultimately enhance the overall customer experience.”
Retailers like The Wine Emporium in Shelton, CT, have an opportunity to realize significant savings when addressing efficiency in core operations needs. Upgrading walk-in coolers to refrigeration systems with electronically commutated motors (ECM) reduces energy consumption. Combined with LED lighting upgrades, The Wine Emporium is expected to save about 41,692 kWh annually, providing cost savings of more than $7,500 annually.