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Convenience Store Chain Enhances Environment and Experience With Electronic Improvements

Throughout northeast Georgia, the Golden Pantry convenience store chain is known for its warm Southern hospitality and simple charm. While this charm can often be equated with a lack of technology and even inefficiencies, for the Golden Pantry, this isn’t the case. In fact, part of their well-earned reputation for reliable convenience is due to their focus on reducing energy consumption and improving operational efficiencies.

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When the chain was presented with the latest electronic store control technology that could simultaneously address both these issues, they were intrigued.

Store management implemented a pilot program to test out the technology, which should have allowed them to manage the energy consumption of HVAC and refrigeration systems. The store optimization team upgraded the HVAC system in a single store with a network of new electronic thermostats that fed into an electronic site supervisory system. This monitored energy consumption and provided managers with operational insights. They also installed electronic thermostats and refrigeration controllers on the store’s four walk-in coolers.

With this new technology in place, management was able to lock out manual changes to thermostats and establish an HVAC temperature setpoint that helped maximize energy efficiencies and eliminate unnecessary strain. The supervisory system also let store managers:

  • Schedule defrost cycles
  • Utilize case temperatures to assist with defrost on/off
  • Create a two-degree temperature setback from midnight to 4 a.m.
  • Set up notifications when walk-in doors are left ajar

While the Golden Pantry’s management team initially hoped to meet a goal of a 36-month payback, they have since revised that time frame to just 18 months after seeing nearly 10 percent energy savings in the first year.

This blog is a summary of “Convenience Store Chain Strikes Gold and Saves Some Green” from the latest edition of Emerson Climate Technologies’ E360 Outlook. Read the story in its entirety and download the digital edition to learn how this technology detected a potentially catastrophic refrigeration system fault at the store just weeks after installation.

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