As we researched the grocery business it became obvious that one of our largest expenses would be hydroelectricity. It then became one of our priorities to make the building operate ultra-efficiently as we planned and organized the renovation. As we graduated to operating the business, it became a priority to operate in an environmentally friendly manner not only as the right thing to do, but it also saves money.
A Building Renovation for Hydro Electric Efficiency
As part of the store renovation we installed LED XD Tube lights in the ceiling, replacing the existing incandescent 100 watt and 60 watt system. We were able to calculate that we would save:
- 37,556.064 KWH per year
- 54,456 lbs of CO2 emissions per year
- The equivalent of taking 6 cars off the road every year
- The equivalent of saving 10,292 litres of gasoline from being bured every year
- The equivalent of planting 1,047 trees per year or 5,235 over five years
The benefits of the LED XD Tube lighting:
- Five year warranty
- 50,000 hour lifespan
- No maintenance
- No bulbs to change
- Instant start, flicker –free
- 98% efficiency with low lumen depreciation (less than 30% over lifetime)
- 100% recyclable product
- Low heat output
We are thankful for Think Lighting Ontario, a division of Fritz Concrete of Chepstow, for advising us and providing the lighting. Richardson Electric of Walkerton did an awesome job of installing all the lighting. We were also advised to apply to Hydro One for the Save-on-Energy Retrofit Program and received approximately $4,000 toward the cost of the lighting retrofit.
New Front Entry
To maintain a barrier for heat and cold transfer, it was important to have a double door entry into the store. We designed a porch-entry area to compliment the current brick, which also created a totally new look for the whole store. Shopping carts are clean and dry, it is easily wheelchair and handicap accessible, and we have lots of room on the porch to sell spring plants, summer harvest of fresh local vegetables and fruit, and our Christmas trees in late fall.
We applied to the Spruce the Bruce funding program for façade improvements and were pleased to receive $4,000 towards the cost of our front entry.
New Display Refrigerators
Not only a new clean look was needed to display our freezer and refrigerated products, but they needed to be energy efficient. Arneg Canada was chosen as the supplier because their units:
- * are made in Quebec, Canada
- * used all LED lighting
- * high efficient fan motors
- * night curtains for open displays; doors on most units
- * very good value for the price of the units
New Compressor and Refrigeration Systems, and New Evaporator Coils
The system installed when the store was built was very, very inefficient and required not only a lot of electricity to run, but extra systems to get rid of excess heat in the summer. Buchanan & Hall of Stratford were chosen because:
- they were the most local refrigeration, heating and air conditioning company with extensive knowledge in the latest commercial refrigeration systems
- installed a new, state-of-the-art Keeprite multi-scroll compressor rack system with split high/low temperature suction
- new control systems with temperature alarms
- they moved the condenser system outside of the building which maintains a better indoor temperature
- a heat reclaim system was installed to heat the store in winter with any excess heat generated
- they positioned and installed all the new display units
- all new electrical breaker panel for refrigeration equipment
- enclosed the butcher room and installed a coil to keep it cool during cutting
- re-sealed and made the three walk-in refrigerators and one walk-in freezer much more efficient.
- to maintain maximum efficiencies on a daily basis, there are a number of daily practices that we do.
This project also qualified for the Hydro One Save-on-Energy Retrofit Program funding.
Everyday Energy Savings
- Each night the produce and meat display have curtains pulled to keep the cool temperature in and reduce run times on the units
- Each night we cover the open bunkers of meat with insulated boards that keep the temperature in and reduce run times
- The lights are all shut off, including all display units, pop coolers, walk-in refrigerators, storage rooms. Computers, display monitors and scales are all turned off.
- The outside lights and pilon road lights are on timer to turn on and shut off
- The store temperature is set at 65 degrees and much of the time the store heat reclaim system is able to heat the store with heat recovered from the operation of the display units. Only if the temperature falls below this, will the furnace come on. The same in the summer time. The air conditioning comes on only when the store temp rises significantly.
Other Daily Environmental Efficiencies
Garbage & Composting
We generate only one bag of garbage per day from our store. That is because all compostable scrap is collected in separate bins which are given to a local farmer to use as pig feed.
Our biggest garbage frustration is the plastic wrap that comes around large skids of groceries.
Recycling & Baling
A lot of product and groceries come in cardboard. These boxes are very useful and are reused. Small to medium sized boxes are used to pack customer groceries. Larger boxes are saved and given away for people who are moving houses. We inherited a cardboard compactor with the store so boxes that cannot be re-used, become damaged or dirty are simply compacted and bales are sold to the Bruce Area Recycling company in Southampton.
We have two large recycling roll-offs and we recycle all plastic, glass, unsold newspapers, foil and PET plastics.
The efficient use of our garbage and recycling allows us to only need one small garbage dumpster which is emptied once per month.