August 22, 2018
Centre Food Store

Energy Efficiency Upgrades at Co-op Food Stores

Energy efficiency improvements provide an excellent opportunity to reduce operating costs, while creating significant environmental benefits.  This has been demonstrated in two recent food store renovation projects at Red River Co-op at Southdale and Saskatoon Co-op at the Centre. 

What did they do?
Both locations underwent extensive renovations which included “built-in” energy efficiency improvements, mainly with refrigeration and lighting.

Both projects included major refrigeration upgrades using state of the art technology to optimize energy performance while maintaining correct temperatures for product quality and food safety.  Examples include:  

  • High efficiency mechanical systems were used, such as digital compressors and variable speed condenser fan motors.    
  • Innovative controls provide optimal temperature control and operating efficiencies such as minimizing defrost times.        
  • Glass door coolers were installed for dairy and smoked meat which use 80% less energy than open merchandisers.
  • Electronic Evaporator fan motors were used, which are 50% more efficient than conventional motors.
  • LED lighting uses less power and generates minimal heat within refrigeration units.     

The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems at the Saskatoon location were also completely upgraded, and both locations utilize heat recovery from the refrigeration system to heat the warehouses and provide domestic hot water for use in the store.

Lighting was upgraded at both locations from conventional fluorescent and metal halide lighting to new LED systems, which use 50% less electricity.  

How much of an impact did these changes make?

  • The Southdale Food Store in Winnipeg has seen a 29% reduction in electricity consumption in the first 9 months of operation compared to the same time period before the renovation.  This relates to electrical savings of $53,000 per year based on present Manitoba Hydro rates.   
  • The Centre Food Store in Saskatoon has seen a 32% reduction in electricity consumption.  This relates to electrical savings of $96,000 per year based on present SaskPower rates.  
  • The Centre Store upgrade will also result in reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 635,000 kg per year, which is equivalent to removing 138 passenger vehicles from the road annually.
  • Not only do these upgrades make these Food Stores more energy efficient with lower utility costs, but they also reduce maintenance costs, create a more pleasant shopping environment, increase facility value, and reduce the environmental footprint.  This embodies our vision of building sustainable communities together.