Energy Efficiency in C-Stores: 10 Ways to Stem the Energy Bleeding

Practical Actions for Convenience Store Chains

Convenience Stores are among the most energy intensive of all businesses. On average, C-Stores use 3 times the energy per square foot of a typical commercial business, tying restaurants for the number 1 spot. However, C-Stores come in many different configurations. Many – but far from all – dispense fuel. Some offer car washes. More and more have added quick serve restaurant (QSR) outlets. Many, but not all, are open 24x7. As a result, energy use varies quite widely, and in some cases runs as much as 7 times the commercial buildings’ average on a per square foot basis. HVAC and lighting dominate energy spend for retail stores as a whole, but for most C-Stores the number one energy culprit is refrigeration. Other large energy consumers include:

  • Food prep equipment, particularly if it is electric-powered
  • Fuel pumps

Water can also be a major utility cost for a C-Store, particularly if there is an irrigation system, and costs are compounded radically if there is a car wash.

However, there is a range of ways to achieve significant energy savings in Convenience Stores - even those with 24x7 operations. Where margins are tight, reducing energy costs becomes a very effective way to increase profits.

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