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3 easy, inexpensive upgrades with an immediate effect

Image of man standing at a supermarket dairy cooler
You need customers to have easy access to products in refrigerated display cases during store hours, but retractable night covers that keep the cool in overnight can significantly reduce your electricity bills.

Improve your business' energy efficiency with these Power Smart tips

Use night covers and strip curtains to create a barrier between warm and cold food storage areas

A major factor in reducing the cost of energy for refrigeration is to prevent the loss of what you've already invested in: cold air. That means placing barriers between warm and cold areas wherever possible.

For food retailers, installing night covers on upright refrigerated display cases and strip curtains at the entry to cold storage areas helps keep cold air in place. Night covers are a retractable plastic cover, like a window blind, that are pulled over the case opening during closing hours, keeping the cold air in place. Similarly, strip curtains stop chilled air from spilling out of a busy cold storage area, while still allowing people to reach in and out with ease.

Cost: The price per square foot will vary depending upon your supplier, the technologies you select and the square footage required, but projects typically receive incentives that cover 35 per cent of the cost of night covers and strip curtains.

LED exit signs use just 1 to 3 watts of power, and they last a lot longer too

Replacing an old-fashioned incandescent exit sign with an LED sign can reduce the sign's energy use by as much as 90 per cent. Not sure if you're operating incandescent or LED exit signs? Look for a green running man in the display. That's a sure sign it's LED.

Cost: Power Smart incentives are available for LED exit signs. Once the incentive is applied, the cost for a standard LED exit sign is about $50 per unit (permit and labour costs not included).

Seal up your doors and windows with weatherstripping

Gaps and cracks around windows and doors allow the cold winter air to come in, and warm air to escape. This not only makes your work environment less comfortable, but also contributes to a higher electricity bill.

For businesses with customer-facing spaces, drafts can make your space uninviting and reduce the time that customers spend with you. Draftproofing is one of the most cost-effective things you can do to improve your business' overall efficiency. Caulking and weatherstripping materials are relatively inexpensive and fairly simple to apply.

Some places where draftproofing is effective include:

  • Around window and door frames
  • Where walls meet the foundation
  • Around openings where piping, electrical and telephone lines enter the building
  • Unused openings in the walls or roof

Cost: A variety of weatherstripping products are available at your local hardware store. Costs can range from $20 – $300 depending on the product you select.

Power Smart Express incentives are also available for ENERGY STAR® freezers, ENERGY STAR refrigerators, as well as simple improvements like adding doors to open refrigerated display cases. To learn more about Power Smart Express incentives, call the Business Help Desk by dialling 604 522 4713 from Greater Vancouver or 1 866 522 4713 from elsewhere in the province.