If a store owner or decision maker agrees to the audit, PECI (which once stood for Portland Energy Conservation Inc., but no longer does so because of its geographic breadth) sends its own personnel to provide the energy audit. In effect, said Achilles, this becomes a third-party audit since PECI does not manufacture any of the equipment or products that eventually might be needed.
Some of the opportunities include:
• Design on new construction and remodels;
• Retrofits by upgrading lighting and refrigeration technologies;
• Commissioning of new and existing buildings.
Results could be anything from suggesting replacement of strip curtains to full-scale retrofits.
Among the contracting companies that uses PECI services is Source Refrigeration based in Anaheim, Calif., which has extensive involvement in supermarket refrigeration. Pete Cuneo, director of energy services, said Source first became involved with PECI in 2003. The first project, he said, was to install some 50 floating head controls in 10 Southern California supermarket chains.
Cuneo said PECI performs a site survey of a store, and then determines what rebates are available. He said in the case of those first 50 stores, “It ended up being zero cost to the customer.”
He noted PECI’s energy analysts “can model the existing store and an existing energy-efficient one.” It then becomes the contractor’s job to install the upgrades that will produce the projected savings. “If the contractor can’t deliver verifiable energy savings, then everybody loses. We make (the savings) happen,” said Cuneo.
Cuneo said PECI’s relationship with utilities and ability to track down incentives and rebates makes the company unique.
Achilles said grocers can look at the program for three reasons.
“First, this is an opportunity to grow the business. Energy is the second largest variable in a store. If a grocer doesn’t manage that, the store may not be essential.
“Second, the program helps connect contractors with manufacturers and new technologies to speed the process to bring products to market.
“Third, the industry is all about relationships and helping to get energy costs down.”
In regards to this, Achilles said EnergySmart Grocer holds training programs for contractors, which includes table top expos where manufacturers can show some of the newest products.
The conductors of the audits for PECI are called field energy analysts who typically come from the contractor or store owner sectors. “They know the parties involved,” said Achilles. “They understand the market and have the expertise to help grocers save energy and money.”
For more information, visit www.peci.org.
Publication date: 02/07/2011