The Benefits of Upgrading to Energy-Efficient Refrigerated Cases

Upgrading to energy-efficient refrigerated cases can make your bakery products look great and help save you money. These energy-saving upgrades include low/no-sweat double-pane doors, LED lighting, and intelligent case controllers.

Retrofitting open cases with night covers can significantly decrease overnight energy losses. And replacing old evaporative defrost systems with new energy-efficient technologies will save you money.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency upgrades not only increase product quality and safety measures but also help to cut back on high energy costs. Many states offer incentives and rebates for implementing smart controls, helping to lower upfront capital costs.

Traditional refrigerated cases are a significant energy drain because they operate by maintaining a user-input temperature setpoint and then fighting infiltration of warm air from the store into the case. However, this can be dramatically reduced with advanced controls that allow for load flexibility to shift cooling operations to optimum times of renewable power generation.

Another considerable energy waster is anti-sweat heaters in open cases, which require electricity to heat refrigerated cases to prevent condensation on display doors. But it has a solution for this as well by controlling the operation of anti-sweat heaters, enabling them to run only when needed. This significantly decreases energy costs. It also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental concerns for businesses working toward sustainability goals.

Reduced Operating Costs

While shoppers don’t often give a second thought as they reach for their milk, cheese, or prepackaged lunch in an open-front case, these ubiquitous pieces of critical equipment can be significant energy drains. In fact, according to manufacturers, refrigerated display cases consume about 36 percent of the electricity in a supermarket.

Upgrading to more efficient refrigeration systems can significantly reduce energy consumption and costs. And since many supermarkets use older refrigerators and lighting systems, they can benefit from retrofits that will allow them to lower their electric bills and catch up to newer energy efficiency technology without a significant capital investment.

Additionally, energy-efficient refrigeration systems use LED case lighting, which not only uses less energy but also enhances product visibility and improves customer satisfaction. And the savings from these systems can be redirected to other critical business areas, potentially boosting overall profitability.

Increased Product Freshness

Energy-efficient refrigerated cases maintain consistent temperature levels, ensuring food stays fresh and eliminating waste due to spoilage. This contributes to superior product quality and customer satisfaction, increasing sales and repeat business.

By eliminating the energy drain of electric evaporative trays, grocers can save significant costs on electricity bills and maintenance. Advanced controls enable load shifting to coincide with optimum periods of renewable energy generation, further reducing energy consumption without compromising refrigerated case equipment performance.

Installing transparent doors on open refrigerated cases also makes aisles more comfortable for shoppers and reduces how much a store’s heating system needs to work in those same sections. One case retrofit project, for example, cut the electricity costs of a refrigerated case simply by adding glass doors and raising the evaporator temperature. This also reduced defrost cycles from three to two per day, increasing refrigeration rack lifetime and reducing maintenance costs.

Increased Product Visibility

Open cases are popular with shoppers, grocery stores, and electric utilities because they allow easy access to cold foods and prepackaged items. But they can waste energy. Up to three-quarters of a case’s heat load cools air through the display glass.

Today’s case designs offer both merchandising flexibility and efficiency. They feature clear glass panels and strategic lighting that highlight food, helping to drive sales. They also have higher insulation, reducing the need for anti-sweat heater usage and maximizing energy conservation.

Then there are the plug-and-play refrigerated units known as mobile spot merchandisers, which are growing in popularity. These portable, compact coolers save energy by using efficient LED lighting and can be moved around a store to promote impulse sales of both high-margin and low-margin products. They’re available in low and medium-temperature versions and can be installed without floor drains or copper piping. They connect to a single electrical outlet.