A Note from the ENTOUCH CEO: Knowing your How, What, and Why

How Convenience Stores Can Improve Energy Efficiency and Save Energy

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Jun 16, 2024

In the world of retail, convenience stores stand as critical hubs of community life, offering essentials with speed and efficiency. Yet, these establishments face the challenge of high energy consumption due to their extended hours of operation and the diverse array of services they provide. Energy efficiency emerges not only as a pathway to reducing operational costs but also as a commitment to environmental sustainability. By embracing energy management systems like ENTOUCH, convenience stores can navigate these challenges. 

This suite of IoT-enabled hardware, designed for managing HVAC, lighting, and refrigeration, serves as a cornerstone for energy savings. It ensures convenience stores can achieve operational efficiency while fostering a comfortable shopping environment for customers and employees alike. 

Energy Efficiency in Convenience Stores

Energy efficiency in convenience stores is essential, impacting both operational costs and environmental sustainability. For operators, the pursuit of energy efficiency means not only a reduction in expenses but also contributing toward a greener footprint. Key to this endeavor is ENTOUCH.one, a comprehensive controller that revolutionizes energy management through IoT technology. This platform specializes in optimizing energy usage of HVAC, lighting, and refrigeration systems, essential components of a convenience store's energy profile.

The integration of ENTOUCH.one controller enables facility managers and sustainability officers to monitor and manage energy use more effectively, leading to substantial cost savings and environmental benefits. By providing real-time data and analytics, ENTOUCH aids in identifying areas of high energy consumption and operational inefficiencies, allowing for targeted interventions that can drastically reduce energy waste.

Furthermore, adopting ENTOUCH's IoT solutions can enhance sustainability efforts, offering the dual benefit of increasing a store's bottom line while contributing positively to the environment. This holistic approach to energy management not only ensures a comfortable shopping environment for customers and employees but also supports convenience stores in meeting their sustainability goals, reinforcing the importance of energy efficiency in today's convenience store landscape.

Utilize an Energy Management System

Utilizing an Energy Management System is crucial for convenience stores seeking to enhance energy efficiency and reduce operational costs. 

EMS provided by ENTOUCH offers a comprehensive solution, enabling real-time monitoring and management of energy consumption across all store operations. This system provides the tools needed for detailed energy usage analysis, predictive maintenance, and efficient resource management, directly addressing the challenges of high energy costs and sustainability goals.

By leveraging IoT technology for continuous oversight and improvement, convenience stores can achieve significant energy savings, contributing to both environmental stewardship and improved profitability.

Monitoring is the first step in management

Monitoring stands as the cornerstone of an effective energy management system. With ENTOUCH.cloud, convenience stores unlock the capability for real-time data analytics, offering a comprehensive view of energy consumption across all operations. This continuous monitoring is pivotal in identifying inefficiencies and opportunities for energy savings, marking the initial step toward significant operational improvements.

By integrating ENTOUCH into their energy management strategy, facility managers can leverage IoT technology to gain precise, real-time insights into their energy usage. This enables a proactive approach to energy management, where decisions are data-driven and based on current operational realities, not just historical trends.

Real-time Energy Monitoring and Alerts

Real-time energy monitoring is a critical tool in energy management, enabling convenience stores to instantly detect and address energy waste. With ENTOUCH.360, stores are equipped with a 24/7 monitoring and alert system that identifies deviations from normal energy usage patterns, offering a direct route to preventing unnecessary costs and enhancing sustainability efforts.

This system leverages IoT sensors to continuously assess energy consumption, sending alerts when it detects anomalies that could indicate inefficiencies or faults in the system. Such immediate feedback allows staff to take action, rectifying issues before they escalate into significant problems or result in unnecessary energy use.

Use data analytics to manage your energy usage

Data analytics play an indispensable role in transforming raw energy usage data into actionable intelligence, offering a roadmap to significant energy savings. ENTOUCH customer portal stands at the forefront of this transformation, empowering energy managers and facility managers with advanced analytical tools. These tools dissect complex data streams, revealing patterns and insights that drive smarter energy use decisions.

Through the ENTOUCH customer portal, convenience stores can access predictive analytics generated by machine learning algorithms that predict future energy trends based on historical data. This capability allows for the optimization of energy consumption, ensuring operations are both efficient and cost-effective. The platform's ability to turn data into actionable insights is key to identifying hidden opportunities for energy savings, ultimately leading to more sustainable store operations.

Setting Up Energy KPIs

Establishing and tracking Energy KPIs is crucial for gauging the effectiveness of energy management strategies. ENTOUCH's solutions facilitate the efficient setting and monitoring of these KPIs, allowing ENTOUCH to benchmark store performance and strive for continuous improvement. 

By leveraging ENTOUCH's technology, convenience stores can set precise energy usage targets and monitor their progress. This structured approach to energy management ensures that goals are not just aspirational but grounded in actionable data, fostering an environment of accountability and sustained improvement.

How to reduce energy usage in convenience stores

Reducing energy usage in convenience stores is essential for achieving both economic and environmental objectives. By implementing strategic upgrades like energy-efficient refrigeration, LED lighting, regular HVAC maintenance, and the installation of smart thermostats, stores can significantly lower their energy consumption.

 ENTOUCH.one hardware emerges as a crucial ally in this endeavor, offering sophisticated management of energy-consuming units such as HVAC and a lighting system.

Energy-Efficient Refrigeration

Most advice says that upgrading to energy-efficient refrigeration units is a pivotal step for convenience stores aiming to reduce energy consumption and operational costs. With Energy Star ratings indicating low energy consumption, these units represent a significant improvement over older, less efficient models. 

That advice is true, but with ENTOUCH, you don't need to replace your existing equipment to achieve energy savings. ENTOUCH enhances your current refrigeration units by enabling detailed monitoring and management. This integration optimizes energy use through IoT devices, leading to substantial energy savings without the need for new appliances.

Upgrade to LED Lighting

Upgrading lighting systems to more energy-efficient alternatives, such as LED lighting, presents a straightforward yet effective method for reducing energy consumption. These updated lighting solutions offer efficiency and longevity compared to traditional options, leading to significant cost savings over time. 

Our lighting solution, which actively controls, monitors, and provides real-time access to facility lighting, doesn’t require upgrading your lighting, ensuring a condusive working environment and delivering additional energy savings.

The ENTOUCH Lighting Control Module communicates wirelessly back to the ENTOUCH.one controller, ensuring seamless integration and efficient operation. Moreover, ENTOUCH ensures that your lighting is operational and adjusts automatically based on sunrise/sunset at the location, further optimizing energy usage. Incorporating smart lighting controls as part of ENTOUCH's EMS solutions can further enhance energy efficiency by ensuring your lights are on when your locations are open and off when your locations are closed.

HVAC Maintenance or Upgrade

Regular HVAC maintenance and the upgrade to more energy-efficient models are suggested for maintaining optimal energy consumption in convenience stores.

 ENTOUCH.gateway allows for the seamless integration of existing HVAC systems into the customer portal, a single source of visibility for all your locations, while ENTOUCH.360 provides monitoring and maintenance alerts to prevent energy waste and extend the equipment’s life. 

Install Smart Thermostats 

The implementation of smart thermostats and the strategic use of temperature setpoints can lead to significant energy savings in convenience stores. ENTOUCH.one's smart thermostats enable advanced scheduling and temperature management tailored to store operations. 

Energy audit

Conducting an energy audit is a comprehensive approach to identifying opportunities for energy savings and efficiency improvements. Leveraging data from ENTOUCH.cloud during an energy audit provides insights into energy usage patterns and potential efficiency opportunities. 

Benefits of implementing an EMS

The implementation of an Energy Management System (EMS) like ENTOUCH's suite of solutions offers significant advantages for convenience stores, ranging from financial savings to enhanced operational efficiency and sustainability. By integrating systems such as ENTOUCH.one and ENTOUCH.360, stores can optimize their energy consumption and significantly improve overall performance while enhancing environmental responsibility.

Key Benefits of EMS Include:

  • Cost Reduction: Implementing an EMS directly contributes to lower operational costs by reducing energy waste and optimizing usage patterns.
  • Profitability Impact: Enhanced energy efficiency translates to financial savings, improving the store's profitability margins.
  • Carbon Footprint Reduction: By minimizing energy consumption, stores can significantly lower their environmental impact, contributing to global sustainability goals.
  • Operational Efficiency: ENTOUCH's EMS ensures operations are streamlined, equipment is maintained optimally, and energy use is optimized, leading to smoother store operations.
  • 24x7 Monitoring and Predictive Analytics: Continuous monitoring and analytics provided by ENTOUCH.360 enable proactive management of energy, preventing issues before they escalate.
  • Consultative Insights for Continuous Improvement: Beyond technology, ENTOUCH offers expert guidance and insights, helping stores to continually adapt and improve their energy management strategies.
  • Supporting Sustainability: EMS implementation showcases a store's commitment to environmental stewardship, appealing to eco-conscious consumers and stakeholders.
  • Ensure Comfort: Create  a productive and comfortable environment for both associates and customers

Carbon Footprint Reduction through EMS

Implementing an Energy Management System (EMS) is not just a step toward operational efficiency and cost savings. It's a significant leap toward environmental stewardship. ENTOUCH's solutions are at the forefront of this transition, offering convenience stores a viable pathway to reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to global sustainability efforts.

By integrating ENTOUCH's EMS into their operations, convenience stores can significantly lower their energy consumption. This reduction in energy use directly translates to decreased carbon emissions, aligning store operations with greener, more sustainable practices. The impact of ENTOUCH's technology on sustainability is substantial, providing a clear example of how technological innovation can drive environmental progress.

Enhance your energy efficiency and begin realizing savings on your energy bills with ENTOUCH

Implementing an Energy Management System (EMS) is a strategic move toward optimizing energy efficiency and unlocking savings on energy bills for convenience stores. ENTOUCH offers a streamlined and effective approach to EMS implementation designed to minimize disruption and maximize efficiency gains across multiple sites.

What is the process of implementing an Energy Management System?

Process of Implementing an EMS with ENTOUCH:

  1. Initial Consultation and Planning: The process begins with an in-depth consultation to understand the specific needs and energy goals of the convenience store. This stage sets the foundation for a tailored EMS solution.
  2. Proof of Value (POV) Assessment: Our Customer Success team works in partnership with you to review and select 5-10 sites for initial assessment. Together, we define and agree on objectives and metrics for success.
  3. Site-Specific Assessment: Each site is thoroughly assessed to identify unique energy consumption patterns and opportunities for efficiency improvements.
  4. Custom Solution Design: Based on the insights gained from the assessment, ENTOUCH designs a custom EMS solution utilizing ENTOUCH.one ensuring it meets the specific requirements of each store.
  5. Seamless and Rapid Installation: ENTOUCH's experienced technicians execute a rapid and non-disruptive installation process, ensuring that the EMS is integrated smoothly without affecting store operations.
  6. Comprehensive Training: Post-installation, ENTOUCH provides comprehensive training to store operators, ensuring they are equipped to manage and optimize the new system effectively.
  7. Ongoing Support and Optimization: With ENTOUCH.360, stores benefit from continuous monitoring, support, and optimization services. This includes real-time alerts, predictive analytics, and proactive recommendations for ongoing improvements.
  8. Review and Adjustment: Regular reviews and adjustments are part of the ENTOUCH service, ensuring the EMS remains aligned with the evolving needs and goals of the convenience store.

FAQ

1. How much can an Energy Management System (EMS) reduce energy costs in convenience stores? 

An Energy Management System (EMS) can reduce energy costs in convenience stores by up to 8-20%. By optimizing energy use across systems like HVAC, lighting, and refrigeration, EMS enables significant savings on utility bills.

2. Can energy efficiency improvements significantly impact the profitability of convenience stores?

Yes, energy efficiency improvements can significantly impact the profitability of convenience stores. By lowering operational costs through reduced energy consumption, stores can see an improvement in their bottom line, enhancing overall profitability.

3. How do smart thermostats differ from programmable thermostats in terms of energy savings? 

Smart thermostats offer advanced features over programmable thermostats, including the ability to analyze usage trends from your habits, adjust to real-time conditions like weather changes, and be controlled remotely, leading to greater energy savings. Programmable thermostats, while efficient, lack the adaptability and interactivity provided by smart thermostats.

4. What is the average payback period for investing in energy efficiency technologies in convenience stores?

The average payback period for investing in energy efficiency technologies in convenience stores typically ranges from 1 to 2 years. Factors influencing the payback period include the specific technologies implemented, the store’s existing energy use, and the extent of energy efficiency improvements implemented.

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