Walgreens storefront Energy Manage

Smaller Retail Locations Can “Borrow” from Smart Homes

Walgreens storefront Energy ManageRetail locations can benefit from many of energy efficiency advances made in smart stores. James McPhail, the CEO of Zen Ecosystems, suggests in a feature at Green Tech Media that many of the advances home energy efficiency can do double duty in retail locations.

He writes that connected devices are the next step in the road to smart stores:

At any given retail location in the United States, it’s likely facility managers are struggling to accommodate employees, customers and their temperature preferences, affecting air conditioners, furnaces and thermostats that maintain pleasant work environments — which costs money. Another expense often overlooked is when employees leave a store at the end of the day. It’s not unusual for the HVAC system to work throughout the night, even when unneeded. There is a lack of communication between the stores and their environments.

Large retailers are opting for expensive energy management systems to meet these challenges. This isn’t a good option for small and medium stores due to their complexity and direct and indirect costs.

The piece suggests that there is another option. McPhail refers to a case study from National Stores, a chain with 350 locations in 22 states. It and Zen Ecosystems developed Zen HQ, which he describes on a “streamlined hardware/software offering.” The company’s energy bill decreased by 25 percent in the first month, and ROI is anticipated in six to 12 months, the story says.

Panasonic Systems Communications Company North America and Locbit Inc. are cooperating on a building automation system. It combines Panasonic’s component manufacturing capabilities with Locbit’s cloud platform. Panasonic system it will target the hospitality, retail, food services, healthcare, grocery retailer and convenience store sectors. Many of these locales, of course, match the type of establishment upon which McPhail focused in his piece.

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