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QUINCY, Mass. -- The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. here unveiled its first U.S. EPA Energy Star certified store during a ceremony held at the grocer's Southbury, Conn. location. Stop & Shop, in conjunction with sister Ahold banner Giant of Landover, Md., also said it would concentrate on achieving the coveted Energy Star Leader designation for its entire store base.
"By taking proactive steps to improve energy efficiency, Stop & Shop is cutting costs, reducing harmful emissions to the air, and setting an example for other companies," said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's new England office, in a statement.
The Energy Star designation goes to structures featuring superior energy efficiency: Energy Star-certified buildings employ about 35 percent less energy than average buildings.
Jean Lupinacci, EPA director of Energy Star's commercial and industrial branch, affirmed that Stop & Shop was "in the process of completing the final approval steps" for Energy Star Leader status, a designation she noted was "not easy to earn," since it requires "organization-wide achievements" on the part of the applying company.
The company has been working for years to roll out environmentally friendly, energy-efficient stores, noted Stop & Shop v.p. of design and engineering Jihad Rizkallah. Major efforts to build such stores started in 1999 with the design of the low-energy Stop & Shop Superstore in Foxboro, Mass., which opened its doors in 2001. Since that time, the banner has bowed 94 locations with many of the features tested in the Foxboro store, which continues to be the template for Stop & Shop's current store design.
The Southbury store, which was built in 2005, has an electrical load 28 percent lower than those of comparable locations built in 2000. Among its cutting-edge features are skylights over the sales floor that provide natural light during the day and allow for the T5 fluorescent lighting system to be dimmed automatically by an energy management system; Store back rooms and office areas equipped with occupancy sensors, which turn the lights off when these spaces are unoccupied; refrigeration systems employing high-efficiency fan motors, variable-speed compressors, low-energy glass doors and non-ozone-depleting refrigerant; the reclamation of heat from the refrigeration system, which is used to heat the sales floor and water in the restrooms and prep areas; and a well-insulated roof with white reflective surface, which reduces the cooling capacity needed to condition the store during the summer.
Stop & Shop employs over 59,000 associates and operates 389 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey.