Supermarkets Get Outside Help for Energy Needs

August 2, 2001
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Supermarkets are getting bigger and more complex even as energy management and conservation become increasingly important issues.

More and more store owners and managers are willing to turn over such behind-the-scenes aspects as mechanical refrigeration and controls technology to outside sources, so they can concentrate on stocking shelves and selling merchandise.

One outside solution is Edison Source. Its Integrated Energy Outsourcing (IEO) Program provides a variety of energy-related services to help companies manage and maintain their energy infrastructures.

Edison Source is a subsidiary of Edison International of Rosemead, CA. Edison International is also the parent company of Southern California Edison.

Services include integrated energy outsourcing; 24-hour emergency repair services; hvacr construction services for new stores and remodels; equipment sales; custom manufactured refrigeration systems; and energy management equipment, installation, and systems monitoring service.

The IEO program was created in 1997. In 1998, Edison Source acquired GHV Refrigeration, ScottPolar Refrigeration, and Kimmel-Motz companies to assist in service, construction, refrigeration rack manufacturing, and energy management.


As a group, supermarkets constitute the third largest consumer of electricity among all industries. According to Edison officials, refrigeration represents the largest segment of a supermarket’s maintenance costs.

The IEO program is in place with more than 600 supermarkets in the western United States. Customers include Albertson’s, Jensen’s Finest Foods, KVMart/Top Valu and Scolari’s, as well as Safeway’s Denver and Vons divisions.

Edison Source assumes the responsibility for the store’s energy consumption and provides refrigeration, hvac, lighting, and energy management system maintenance and upgrade projects. Supermarket officials benefit from predictable energy costs with flat monthly baseline costs for energy and maintenance through the program. According to officials, knowing a monthly baseline rate gives the ability to forecast expenses and minimize peak costs.

A supermarket’s monthly baseline costs are based on the historical utility consumption and maintenance costs with a 1% energy discount applied, based on past electricity costs. The utility bills are transferred to Edison Source, which pays the actual bill while the customer pays the fixed baseline amount. As a result, Edison Source assumes risk for increases in consumption.

To control costs, Edison Source specializes in demand-side energy management. Its technicians are trained to maintain refrigeration systems at optimal efficiency without compromising product integrity. Focus is on preventive maintenance.

A customer call center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to monitor facilities equipped with remote dial-out energy management systems to diagnose potential problems and take action to avert refrigeration emergencies.

Equipment upgrades to existing refrigeration units help reduce energy usage as well.

For more information, contact Edison Source at (714) 578-2300 or (website).

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