The cost of electricity accounts for more than 30 percent of overhead costs amongst retailers. When applied to a distributed portfolio of multiple locations, the financial impact on profit margins can be even more significant. Differences in billing rates, geographic areas and utility companies may decimate even the most energy-conscious companies’ strategy. However, multi-site retailers are effectively reducing costs across all locations through energy management technology for several key reasons.
Rising energy costs spur new interest in energy efficiency, giving multi-site retailers an opportunity to reduce costs through cohesive energy management.
Energy Costs Have Risen More Than 40 Percent
Since 2001, the per-kilowatthour cost of commercial electricity has grown 40.5 percent to 10.19 cents per kilowatthour, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, constricted consumer spending means profit margins have been at the mercy of less income and higher operating expenses. Global competition and omni-channel retailers have also played a significant role.
The following chart shows the growth of electricity costs since 2001 as well:
Multi-Site Retailers Are at a Disadvantage
Once, brick-and-mortar retailers were essential to shopping. However, the age of the internet has generated a new class of online retail storefronts with multiple distribution centers nationwide. Amazon is the industry behemoth leading the way. Amazon gives shoppers a convenient online experience with sophisticated logistics to support same day or next day delivery. This model is uprooting traditional retail sales.
Eliminating the brick-and-mortar side of retail also eliminates, in the public’s mind, its operating costs and impact on the environment. While this is not entirely true, today’s multi-site retailers have only one solution. They must embrace sustainability initiatives, including implementing an integrated, multi-site retail energy management solution, such as ENTOUCH.ONE.
New Technologies Empower Centralized Energy Management
The days of energy management systems on-site are changing. Multi-site systems give companies the ability to view all operations without geographic barriers in one setting. This includes reviewing the impact of green building techniques, equipment management and maintenance and adjusting energy controls appropriately. Thus, the number of people involved in energy management decreases, eliminating chances for errors and promoting the effectiveness of the system through a “set it and forget it” approach that automatically changes to reflect the needs of the company.
More Energy Management Systems and Connected Devices Promote Continuous Improvement
Like any aspect of retail, systems must always look for ways to improve operations and profit margins. In facilities management and overhead operating costs, the growing number of connected devices leads to better integration with operations across the spectrum, enhanced building design and better management of financial matters relating to energy consumption.
Load management, remote diagnostics and optimized assets also serve as an upgrade from existing systems while actively reducing costs. In other words, the cost of upgrading can be recouped within months, if not weeks, of implementation.
Multi-Site Retailers Benefit Significantly from Effective Energy Management Systems
Leading industry experts point to a series of best practices that can be leveraged to reduce energy costs through smart building solutions for multi-site retailers. But, the underlying structure in all best practices is creating a network that can communicate and adapt to changing demands across all locations and the industry. The bigger the business, meaning more locations, the higher the cost savings could be. today to get started with a personalized energy evaluation now.