Grocery stores are responsible for approximately 9% of the total energy consumed by commercial buildings in the U.S.  To reduce this energy impact, a newly released Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores demonstrates how to cut typical energy use in half, conserving approximately 8 billion Btus of energy per year, per store –equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by 148 homes during the same period.

Energy-efficient grocery stores can also improve the comfort of their customers. For example, energy-efficient designs help to improve indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

Energy-efficient building systems also enable grocery stores to be better neighbors. For example, they reduce a store’s draw on the power grid, reducing the risk of power interruptions in the surrounding neighborhood. This includes limiting a store’s noise pollution and both indoor and outdoor lighting.  A single large commercial freezer can use up to 38,000 kilowatt-hours of power annually—producing the equivalent annual greenhouse gas emissions of 5.5 vehicles—improving the energy efficiency of grocery stores can have a notable environmental impact.  Lastly, a reduction in grocery store operating costs can also lead to lower and more consistent grocery prices for consumers.

To help grocery stores and all Americans reap these benefits, the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores offers guidance for achieving 50% energy savings compared to a standard grocery store. This guide shows how to achieve a healthy and inviting indoor environment, display merchandise effectively, avoid moisture intrusion, and optimize ventilation, while also cutting energy waste and running a successful business.

The guide is not limited to construction or retrofit of stores. It also outlines opportunities for effective ongoing monitoring and oversight to ensure operational efficiency is maintained, and it provides guidance on leveraging successful efficiency measures in one building for chain-wide rollouts.

The Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores is the latest release in a series designed to help builders, business owners, designers, and other stakeholders improve their energy performance beyond typical design standards. The 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide series is developed by the Energy Department in partnership with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); American Institute of Architects (AIA); U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES).

As a complement to the series, the Energy Department also supports the development of the Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide series, which are applicable to existing buildings.