Supermarkets are not necessarily the most energy efficient buildings:  aisles of wide open refrigerators and freezers, bombastic electric lighting reminiscent of The Shining, and then you have all that hauling of packaging and expired food.

An Albertson’s (owned by SuperValu) in Claremont, California, however, is now a showcase of what supermarkets need to do in the future both to keep costs down and improve energy efficiency.  The supermarket is a clean energy and energy saving laboratory for the following features:

  • LED lighting in the milk and frozen food sections that have energy use at least by 50%
  • Photo sensors in 33 skylights that help to adjust electric light levels accordingly
  • Night curtains draped over all cold cases that reduce food spoilage and reducing energy costs by 25% (see above left-click to expand)
  • A fuel cell from UTC that generates 90% of the store’s electricity (see photo below)
  • A glycol refrigeration system that minimizes refrigerant charge, earning an EPA GreenChill Certification
  • Aggressive recycling instead of trash compacting as well as water efficient features, both of which contribute to increased energy efficiency.

The store is certified LEED Silver.  More supermarket chains are going to have to follow the lead of the Claremont Albertson’s; Walmart has understood the need for increased energy efficiency and is another reason why the retailing giant is America’s largest retailer.  As both food and energy prices increase, energy efficiency is one tactic supermarket chains will have to adopt to stay competitive. So what is your neighborhood store doing?

Fuel Cell by UTC at the Claremont Albertson's

Fuel Cell by UTC at the Claremont Albertson's

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.