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Chavez Supermarket has recently completed energy-efficiency upgrades to eight of its store locations as part of a series of collaborations with Pacific Gas & Electric’s EnergySmart Grocer program.
EnergySmart Grocer provides personalized expertise and rebates to help participating businesses lower their energy costs. This prosperous pairing has resulted in annual energy savings of nearly 700,000 kWh and close to $50,000 in rebates for Chavez.
With EnergySmart Grocer’s recommendation and guidance, Chavez installed LED lighting in most of its refrigerated cases, and upgraded its refrigeration system with high-efficiency ECMs (electronically commutated motors).
"ECMs may be saving more energy and money, but they’re in the background,” said project manager, Eduardo Chavez. “Most of our energy efficiency work has been in the background, until now. LEDs are great because they’re something the customer can see and say, ‘Hey, this place is trying to be energy-efficient.’ They also make the product look really nice, they don’t fail as often and the energy savings are impressive."
EnergySmart Grocer rebates totaling $22,299 covered a significant portion of the project’s upfront equipment costs. Those rebates, coupled with the expected energy savings, will benefit Chavez with a short payback period of less than 6 months.
"Because we know the savings that the program projects are for real, and we’ve seen proof of savings on our energy bill, we want to get all of our stores as energy-efficient as possible,” said Chavez. “It really helps that PG&E and EnergySmart Grocer provide the incentives, but we’ll do anything we can to increase energy efficiency. With the savings on our bills plus the rebate check, we’re always excited to hear about new rebate opportunities and happy to jump on that wagon."
The EnergySmart Grocer program provides no-cost energy assessments, technical assistance and financial incentives to grocers seeking to lower their operating costs through high-efficiency retrofits.