WALTHAM, Mass. -– Global Partners LP is piloting an energy management initiative at select Alltown and Mr. Mike's convenience stores in New England.
The SiteSage enterprise energy and asset management system is a platform provided by Boston-based Powerhouse Dynamics. It was designed specifically for smaller facilities.
"With approximately 120 company-operated convenience stores within our network, effectively monitoring electricity use and managing energy expenses is extremely important to the bottom line," said Jamie Cook, director of construction and maintenance within Global's Gasoline Distribution and Station Operations division. "SiteSage enables us to identify in detail the individual drivers of energy costs, including walk-in coolers, pumps, lights and HVAC systems."
In addition, SiteSage can red-flag a piece of equipment that is using more power than it has historically, which is an indication that a component may be on its way out, Cook explained. "That warning enables us to take action before the system fails, which in turn prevents downtime, potentially saves additional expense and keeps our facilities operating smoothly," he added.
According to Powerhouse Dynamics, convenience stores use three times as much energy per square foot as other commercial businesses, on average. To control these costs, operators can remotely control and monitor equipment via energy management systems such as SiteSage, reducing operating costs and driving profits directly to the bottom line.
"Convenience stores located at gas stations are among the most energy-intensive commercial businesses," said Mark Hardardt, vice president of sales and marketing for Powerhouse Dynamics. "In addition to the gas pumps, there is a considerable amount of refrigeration, and now increasing amounts of food prep and service equipment. Some of these locations also have car washes. And many of them are open 24/7. As a result, convenience stores use three times the energy of a typical commercial building, on average, and in some cases as much as seven times."
The systems installed at the Alltown and Mr. Mike's locations provide centralized remote control of all HVAC systems. In some locations, virtually every piece of equipment is being monitored, including gas pumps and car wash equipment. Within the first month, the system identified a range of equipment problems that had not yet become evident, saving energy and potentially averting system failures.
One of the goals is to use the experience of this first wave of installations to determine the most cost-effective way to deploy the system at all of the company's retail locations going forward, according to Powerhouse Dynamics.