Best Buy Uses Exploratory Analysis to Identify $3M in Energy Savings

Best Buy is a leading provider of technology products, services, and solutions headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota. The company has operations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In 2015, Best Buy set an aggressive goal to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020. In order to reach that goal, the company needs to significantly reduce energy usage in its retail stores. Best Buy’s sustainability team identified plug loads (the energy used by products that are powered by means of an ordinary AC plug) as a significant source of energy consumption for the company. Best Buy’s large format store base plug load demand had increased an average of 2.3 percent on a year-by-year basis since 2010, due in part to the use of interactive product displays. As a result, reducing plug load energy consumption became a priority for the team. To help Best Buy analyze and ultimately reduce plug load energy consumption, the company participated in the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps program in the summer of 2016. EDF Climate Corps is a fellowship program that embeds trained graduate students in organizations to work on energy projects. Best Buy enlisted its EDF Fellow to measure and analyze plug loads and to propose both process improvements and new technologies to better manage plug load. To view the full PDF version of this implementation model, click here.

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Best Buy’s sustainability team identified plug loads as a significant source of energy consumption. To analyze efficiency opportunities with real consumption data, the company partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps program and uncovered $3M in potential annual energy savings.


Limited data on a large energy load made potential energy savings unknown.


Conduct a thorough analysis across stores to understand the load’s current energy use, operational context, and opportunities for energy savings.


By conducting a thorough analysis, Best Buy identified process changes and new technology that, with capital investment, could save Best Buy up to $3 million per year in energy expenses if all recommendations were implemented.