Market makeover: all six videos now available

Energy Fix video series host Jay Brown talks about refrigeration efficiency in Episode 4 of the six-part series that chronicles the energy makeover of Donald's Market.

Nina Winham

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get started on energy efficiency at your business – or to improve on what you've already done – take a few minutes to watch The Energy Fix online video series.

The videos tell the story of Power Smart's "energy makeover" at Donald's Market on Vancouver's Commercial Drive. They were released during Power Smart month (October) and all six are now online. Watch them by November 15 and you can still enter the Energy Fix Contest.

Last month we gave you the overview of the first three videos. Below, we have the story from the final three.

In Episode 4, Keeping Cool: Better Refrigeration, host Jay Brown speaks with Dennis Arduini of CT Control Temp Inc., the contractor who takes on the refrigeration and air flow aspects of the grocery store makeover. Arduini explains the benefits of strip curtains on walk-in coolers, night curtains that pull down over refrigerated display cases at night, and "air doors" which were installed at three outdoor entrances.

"It's a system that provides a thin band of air that creates a barrier between outside and inside," says Arduini. "Because you're going to be keeping all that warm air outside the building, it won't be rushing into the store.

"You'll have less condensation, the systems won't have to work as hard to maintain temperature and the air conditioning won't have to work as hard, so there'll be savings right across the board."

Refrigeration fixes also include ECMs – electronically commutated motors, which improve the efficiency of air flow within refrigerated cases.

Finally, Karl Horvath of Quantum Lighting explains the use of LED light modules for lighting inside freezer cases – these lights throw off far less heat than the fluorescents that were previously in use and produce less glare. This reduces the load on the freezer equipment, provides a better customer experience, and improves energy efficiency by 40%. Plus, they last longer, reducing maintenance costs.

In Episode 5, Waste Not: Compost, Water, & More, Andre LaRivière of the Green Table Network visits Donald's Market. The network works with food companies and restaurants to reduce waste and improve sustainability practices.

LaRiviere suggests simple water-saving steps, such as a water conservation bag inside the toilet tank and an aerator on the bathroom faucet (most businesses use 25-50% of their water in the bathroom). The aerator alone is likely to save 1,000,000 litres of water per year at the market (that's right, one million litres!).

Next come improvements to recycling, aimed at reducing waste to landfill by 75-80%, and a new composting program to ensure organic waste is not sent to landfill.

In the final episode, It's a Wrap: Savings and Results, the improvements at Donald's Market are reviewed, from the energy audit to specific changes and retrofits. This video provides a quick overview of specific technology used, and the energy efficiency of each.

"It looks great, this place is looking spanking new, and it's such a difference," concludes Gary Joe, the owner of Donald's Market.

What would he tell other business owners about undertaking a conservation retrofit? "You save energy, which comes down to saving money, and the whole place – whatever business they're in – it looks really nice."

Estimated energy savings at Donald's Market are $11,000 per year.

You can take a look at the technologies used in The Energy Fix by watching the videos – or you can read more detail in the Donald's Market case study.

And when you're ready to take a few energy efficiency steps at your own business, check out the Power Smart incentives – rebates on a wide variety of eligible efficient equipment that boost your savings and cut your payback time.

Nina Winham is a Vancouver-based sustainability consultant and frequent contributor to and the Power of Business eNewsletter.