WASHINGTON - On Thursday, Feb. 21, dozens of key business leaders - including executives from retail giants Wal-Mart, Target, and Whole Foods - will meet in Washington with representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and professional associations to explore how the retail sector can more efficiently manage its energy use.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is sponsoring this executive roundtable discussion as a first step in forming the Retail Energy Alliance (REA), a consortium aimed at promoting the use of energy-efficient technologies and management practices for retail operations. Wal-Mart, Target, and Whole Foods will be joined on the REA steering committee by Home Depot, Staples, Food Lion, Kohl’s, Best Buy, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA).

Improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings - which consume 18 percent of all the energy used in the United States, says DOE - is an important part of the agency’s overall goals of improving energy security, ensuring that affordable energy is available for homes and businesses, and reducing air and water pollution. The DOE estimates that the nation’s retailers pay about $25 billion annually in energy costs for their retail outlets, warehouses, and distribution systems.

Publication date:02/18/2008