Want to learn more about saving energy in supermarket refrigeration? On May 11, Pacific Gas and Electric is offering a free class, entitled Saving Energy In Grocery Refrigeration, which will help attendees learn how to save energy and operating costs in existing commercial refrigeration systems -- the dominant energy users in these facilities. The class will also cover the latest information on low- and no-cost commissioning, capital investments, and incentives for projects in California.

Commercial grocery stores are one of the most energy-intensive building types in the commercial sector, and this class will cover the operating principles of vapor compression refrigeration and then use those principles to identify low-cost and no-cost options for saving energy and reducing operating expense. The class will also cover investment opportunities for retrofits that require investment but offer significant rewards. Finally, attendees will learn about new program options for quantifying energy savings using interval metered data, and how those savings can be rewarded with incentives with the CoolSave Incentive Program.

The agenda and objectives of the class are as follows:


  • Introduction and safety announcement;
  • Understanding vapor compression refrigeration systems;
  • Low-cost and no-cost energy saving approaches;
  • Energy saving retrofit measures;
  • Identifying and quantifying savings at the meter; and
  • CoolSave program assistance, options, and incentives.


  • Understand fundamental principles of vapor compression refrigeration;
  • Understand low-cost and capital investment opportunities in commercial refrigeration systems;
  • Understand how Normalized Metered Energy Savings can be quantified using interval data; and
  • Understand how technical assistance and incentives can be utilized under the CoolSave program.

Leading the class will be Jim Kelsey, who founded kW Engineering in 1998 to follow his passion for finding innovative and reliable ways to save energy in buildings. Jim has developed tools to model commercial refrigeration systems and psychometrics, teaches courses on energy auditing for PG&E’s Pacific Energy Center, and chaired the development of ASHRAE’s Standard 211 on Energy Audits for Commercial Buildings. Currently he is working on using technology to make commissioning grocery stores cheaper and faster and is researching market trends in low-GWP refrigeration in Minnesota and California.

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