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Since joining EnerNOC’s demand response (DR) program, Stater Bros. Markets has earned annual payments of about $250,000 for reducing non-essential electricity usage during periods of peak demand, high electricity prices and other system needs. The company’s stores in the San Diego region and Southern California Edison service territory are able to make use of free basic access to PowerTrak, the Web-based energy management software provided by energy solutions provider EnerNOC, to identify further cost-saving opportunities arising from better energy management.
San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. signed up for the program in 2008 because of the potential to earn the payments and to protect its stores and surrounding communities from brownouts and rolling blackouts. The grocery chain now has 148 stores across dozens of communities participating in the EnerNOC DR Network, including locations in Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista, Encinitas, Poway and Ramona. By making small changes to store lighting, air conditioning and other energy-intensive functions during DR events, which are called by the regions’ grid operators, the stores can reduce their energy consumption considerably without compromising the shopping experience.
Stater Bros. has developed in-store signage that explains demand response to shoppers and explains how minor adjustments can lead to major energy reductions, thereby reducing the need for more power plants and helping protect the electricity grid. Customer feedback has been “extremely positive,” according to the grocer.
“Participating in demand response is a significant element in Stater Bros.’ commitment to being a sustainable partner in our community,” noted the food retailer’s VP of construction and maintenance, Scott Limbacher. “The EnerNOC DR program also earns Stater Bros. significant revenues that help reduce operating costs. EnerNOC provided, at no cost, the documentation, technology and … assistance needed to implement DR at all locations. Grocery stores, malls, and other heavy electricity users should definitely include demand response as part of their business practice.”
“By investing millions of dollars into our demand response application, EnerNOC has the technology to enable many different types of energy users — from large industrial facilities to the smaller commercial sites — to benefit from demand response,’ said Tim Healy, chairman and CEO of Boston-based EnerNOC. ‘Smaller sites, like grocery stores, have traditionally been excluded from being active participants in the energy market, but as Stater Bros. demonstrates, it’s a market that can really benefit, while providing a valuable service to their communities.’