By Leigha Joyal
Energy Analyst, Hillphoenix
When grocers look into refrigeration system upgrades, the first thing they want to know is how much they’ll spend. That’s logical and important, of course, but upfront cost is not your only key metric. To fully understand your potential return on investment, you’ll also want to calculate just how much you can save through refrigeration modernization.
Mini-case studies of two recent Hillphoenix projects give a real-world view of the potential:
A Massachusetts supermarket replaced more than 40 single-condensing units with three modern, parallel refrigeration racks.
- Store size: 40,000 square feet
- Length of project: completed in phases over 9 months
- Project cost: $234,800
- Electric utility incentive/cost offset: $90,000
- Annual energy savings: $107,996 (consumption dropped by 799,967 kilowatt hours, kWh, per year at a cost of 13.5 cents per kWh)
- ROI: 1.34 years
A Southern California supermarket replaced a water-intensive evaporative-cooling refrigeration rack with a new air-cooled rack.
- Store size: 25,000 square feet
- Length of project: approximately 4 months
- Project cost: $265,000
- Electric utility rebate: $40,000
- Annual energy savings: $69,469 (consumption dropped by 463,126 kWh per year at a cost of 15 cents per kWh)
- Water utility rebate: $8,000
- Annual water conservation: 2 million gallons, saving $18,372 per year
- ROI: 2.47 years
These results are impressive, but not unusual. I see them every day in the work I do as a Hillphoenix energy analyst. I’m part of a team of engineers and technicians who work with supermarkets to make the most of their refrigeration upgrade projects.
We scope out each project, which can vary in length from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the size of the store and the state of existing equipment. Once we have a plan, we look for utility rebates and incentives linked to store locations, and we help our customers secure them.
Our goal is to help customers get the most of every capital expenditure dollar they spend, while guiding them through well-planned refrigeration upgrades that yield all potential savings and benefits.