Retail, Food Service, & Grocery

Retail, Food Service, & Grocery

The Retail, Food Service, and Grocery sectors spend over $41 billion on energy costs a year and represent 14 billion square feet of floorspace in the United States. Better Buildings sector partners represent 2 billion square feet of that floorspace and have saved nearly $3 billion since 2011. Through their engagement with the program, these organizations share tips and strategies for overcoming energy efficiency barriers and meeting their organization’s energy use reduction goals.

Explore a new level of energy savings by integrating lighting with other building systems: Join the Campaign
Save energy and money using EMIS: Explore the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign Toolkit
Get Involved

There are many different ways to work with DOE through the Better Buildings Initiative. Explore our partnerships to find the best fit for your organization, whether your focus is energy, water, waste, or carbon.

COVID-19 Resource Center

Dealing with COVID-19 presents an unprecedented scenario for building owners, plant managers, and employees. Better Buildings has collected resources from partners, affiliates, and other organizations that may prove useful.

2022 Better Buildings Progress Report

To date, the 900+ Better Buildings partners have saved more than 2.5 quadrillion Btus, saving more than $15 billion and 155 million tons of CO2.

Featured Solutions

Havertys' Eastern Distribution Center in Braselton, Georgia is an 810,000-square-foot facility that has achieved an energy savings of 29% through LED retrofits and equipment optimization.
Hannaford joined Efficiency Vermont's Deep Energy Retrofit pilot program - committing to a 50% energy reduction goal at its Brandon, Vermont store - and achieved a 56% reduction in energy use with a cost savings of $135,000.
H&M improved their store energy efficiency by collaborating with landlords and utilities to apply incentive dollars to retrofit HVAC rooftop units, saving approximately $2,500 per store annually.
Home Depot has taken advantage of the most appropriate market options to implement a variety of onsite and offsite renewable energy projects to help achieve its targets: 135 MW of energy through renewable and alternative sources by 2020.
Tenants and landlords often have competing incentives for efficiency practices, but Ulta Beauty has broken through this barrier with its industry-leading rooftop unit guidelines that benefit both tenant and landlord.
Wendy's Smart Family of Designs tool provides a portfolio of development options to franchisees, including buildings that fit into smaller footprints, resulting in more access to real estate, the ability to customize needs for specific trade areas, and reduce the development investment for franchisees looking to build new restaurants.
This toolkit includes a selection of resources to support commercial building operations staff in making the business case to upper management for energy efficiency projects.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) developed a series of renewable energy primers that provide an overview of the various pathways retailers can use to integrate renewable energy into their portfolios.
This collection of resources can support commercial kitchen operators in the shift to lower-carbon options for equipment, operations, and maintenance practices.

Other Resources

Case Study

This case study from the 2021 Green Lease Leaders program explores the ways that retail leveraged green leasing strategies to help navigate unprecedented challenges, strengthen landlord-tenant relationships, and prioritize efficiency and sustainability priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fact Sheets

Oak Ridge National Lab developed this fact sheet for grocery store operators to help them minimize the risks of airborne disease transmission. It covers various systems within a grocery store including HVAC and refrigeration and suggests best practices and behaviors.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory compiled recommendations and guidance for retail store operators trying to minimize disease risk to staff and customers. This fact sheet reviews HVAC system operations, exhaust systems, elevator controls, and building automation systems, as well as space uses and occupancies.

Guidance

This resources list can help partners in the retail, food service, and grocery sector with their efforts to procure contractual services from qualified technicians to perform preventative maintenance, tuning, and repairs of HVACR equipment.
This document contains a variety of resources intended to help commercial partners gain better access to energy data through the use of submetering.
This resource provides a list of steps for building owners/managers to consider when evaluating the suitability of new energy-reducing technologies or products for their commercial buildings.
This document includes steps that building owners and operators can implement to achieve smart, healthy, and low-carbon retail buildings within their existing building portfolios. Stand-alone retail and strip malls often use packaged rooftop units for heating, cooling, and ventilation.
This document includes steps that building owners and operators can implement to achieve smart, healthy, and low-carbon supermarkets within their existing building portfolios. Supermarkets include built-up refrigeration systems and refrigerated display cases and often use packaged rooftop units for heating, cooling, and ventilation.
This guide describes the process needed to cost-effectively reduce PPL energy impact in retail buildings. It includes general and appliance-specific PPL control strategies.

Online Library/Resource

Green Lease Library Online Library/Resource
The Green Lease Library is a centralized site for commercial green leasing resources. The Green Lease Leaders recognition program was created with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and other Green Lease Library and contributing organizations. For more information on the program, visit www.greenleaseleaders.com.
The Environmental Defense Fund hosts a digital platform called the Supply Chain Solutions Center to help companies incorporate more sustainability goals and policies into every aspect of their supply chain.
This resource from the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council provides a high-level summary of current and future refrigerant options for U.S. commercial refrigeration applications, including stationary refrigeration remote systems, remote condensing units, and self-contained refrigerated cases.

Presentations

Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) can help building owners and operators reduce carbon emissions and utility costs while improving building resilience. GEBs can optimize interplay among energy efficiency, demand response, behind-the-meter generation, and energy storage to increase the flexibility of demand-side management.
This session covered emerging trends in controls and analytics for small buildings, highlighting the benefits and lessons learned from installing and operating wireless connected thermostats and small building control systems
Get plugged in on EV charging and fleet electrification with this diverse panel representing manufacturers, cities, and adopters who will shared insights from their experiences transitioning their fleets and how it aligns with carbon reduction goals.
This session discussed how Better Buildings partners put their organizational missions into practice by bridging energy projects with equity and environmental justice priorities.

Report

This report from the Rocky Mountain Institute summarizes an assessment of a large U.S. retail portfolio, recommending bundles of measures for optimized portfolio-wide investments and providing investment pathways to support decarbonization.

Webinars

In this 2021 Summit session, partners shared strategies to get even more energy savings from their buildings through the utilization of integrated technology packages, smart energy analytics, and more.
This presentation highlighted the capabilities of AFDD for specific systems including rooftop units and how facility managers use the data to improve operations and make smarter decisions.

Additional Information

Advanced Energy Design Guides
Created by ASHRAE and its partners, the Advanced Energy Design Guides for 50% Savings offer designers and contractors the tools needed for achieving a 50% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of Standard 90.1-2004. View guides for big box retail, small box retail, and grocery buildings.

Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides (AERGs) were created to help decision makers plan, design, and implement energy improvement projects in their facilities. Guides are available for office buildings, retail buildings, and grocery buildings.

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) - Retail Sustainability
Resources focusing on environmental sustainability issues primarily related to retail facilities and operations.

ENERGY STAR for Restaurants
EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program website for restaurants, which provides building energy management and measurement resources and tools.

Food Service Technology Center (FSTC)
The Food Service Technology Center provides energy efficiency technical advice and training to the commercial food service industry.

Consortium for Energy Efficiency's (CEE) Commercial Kitchens Initiative
Search thousands of evaluation studies, market characterizations, and relevant efficiency documents.

 

Sector Priorities

The Better Buildings Alliance Retail, Food Service & Grocery Steering Committee helps to set priorities for Alliance work in the sector each year. Sector activities for FY2022 will focus on the following priorities:

1) Promoting the Better Climate Challenge to the RFSG sector

2) Decarbonization of kitchen and grocery equipment through refrigeration and equipment upgrades

3) Applying Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) portfolio-wide for better data and analytics

4) Improving access to information about cost-effective distributed energy resources (DERs), including on-site solar and power purchase agreements

5) Improving preventative maintenance for HVACR equipment

 

Steering Committee Members (FY2022)

  • Amy Kaspar, The Wendy's Company
  • Darrel Carter, T-Mobile
  • Eric McCrum, Sheetz, Inc.
  • Jordan Ivans, Kohl's, Inc.
  • Kaela Martins, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)
  • Katie Breene, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Kirk Beaudoin, adidas
  • Peter Isabell, Life Time, Inc.
  • Rawson Haverty, Jr., Havertys

Meet the Sector Committee Chair