It takes a lot of energy — from people and other power sources — to operate a grocery store.
Keeping cold foods cold, hot foods hot, and everyone comfortable is just part of the story. Transporting and preparing products for sale, lighting and cleaning stores inside and out, and running everything from bakery ovens to check stand registers require electricity, natural gas and a genuine commitment to using as little of both as possible.
We monitor closely our energy use on a monthly basis and incorporate energy-conserving measures into all new store construction and store upgrades. Successful initiatives include:
- Daylighting. Skylights at our Redmond and Edmonds stores provide energy-saving natural lighting. Special glazing allows 65 percent of visible light to enter while blocking 64 percent of the sun's heat. Energy savings are realized from the skylights via our control system. When there is sufficient sunlight, in-store lighting fixtures automatically go off.
- Full spectrum lighting. Where possible, a combination of fluorescent and ceramic halide lighting is used to achieve full spectrum lighting. This simulates natural lighting and is brighter and more efficient than lighting from incandescent lamps. The natural color of full spectrum lighting helps to lift the moods of staff and shoppers on dark days and makes the foods we sell look their natural best.
- LED (Light Emitting Diode) Lights. LEDs are used in the dairy and freezer doors at our newer locations. They require about one-fourth of the electricity of fluorescent lights, produce less heat than incandescent bulbs, and last far longer than both.
- Lighting timers and sensors. Many areas of our stores are equipped with occupancy and daylight sensors, as well as timers, to ensure lighting is only on when needed.
- Efficient heating and cooling. In our newer stores — in the Fremont, Redmond and Edmonds neighborhoods — mechanical and refrigeration systems are interconnected so that heat generated from cooling food is captured to heat the stores' hot water and interior air.
- Night curtains for coolers. Installed on open coolers in all of our stores — produce, deli, cheese, meat, dairy, even floral — these curtains contain cool air and allow it to recirculate through the cases, maintaining a more consistent temperature and lowering refrigeration needs when stores are closed. They also help to prolong the moisture level and shelf-life of produce and, in the event of a power outage, to maintain safe holding temperatures for cooled items.
- Energy efficient appliances. We equip our stores and business office with Energy Star-rated appliances. This means that they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy.