Canada’s largest tech retailer reduces energy spend by 18%

“The installation was complete in two days and we were able to stay up and running throughout the entire process.” President, The Source

 Profile 

  • Vertical: Retailer
  • Locations: 400+
  • Assets: HVAC, main-load metering

How it Works

  1. IoT sensors are installed and existing thermostats are replaced with smart thermostats.
  2. The sensors collect data on things like temperature and environmental conditions, and send it to the cloud-based software platform
  3. The platform uses advanced analytics to determine optimal settings and proactively identify issues. Analytics also enable tools like smart alarms, building controls, facility diagnostics, project tracking, and more

The Challenge

There are many challenges facing the retail industry today; the success of the digital marketplace, rising customer expectations, increased costs, and shifts in customer behavior. Like many other companies, The Source was challenged to improve both operational efficiencies and customer experience. With rising utility rates and hundreds of locations across Canada, there were significant increases in utility costs over the past few years. Finding an IoT solution that could help save energy costs became a priority. The Source needed a solution that would provide real-time control and insight into energy usage in order to maximize savings. Plus, it had to be scalable, allowing multiple locations to be controlled remotely. Lastly, it needed to be installed with minimal disruption to customers and staff.

The Solution

The Source piloted GridPoint’s Energy Management platform at two locations for three months at the recommendation of GridPoint partner, Bell Canada. The solution is a comprehensive cloud-based suite of hardware, software and services. It provides a single point of control to monitor and manage energy-consuming assets, such as HVAC and lighting systems, ensuring operational consistency and predictable energy spend. 

The Source started realizing the benefits of the solution immediately. The cloud platform provided a single point of control to monitor and manage HVAC systems in all stores. Pre-defined and pre-scheduled store temperatures ensured a consistently comfortable environment for customers and staff, and took the responsibility off of store managers. Analytics monitored for anomalies in HVAC performance, and triggered notifications if issues were detected. The Source could then schedule proactive maintenance to help avoid costly future repairs or uncomfortable outages, if necessary. Being able to do all of this and more from one centralized platform simplified operations and helped keep track of historical data to better plan for the future.

The Results

The pilot was very successful. It only took one month for The Source to see a return on investment, and within three months energy costs were reduced by 18%. But energy savings were just one of the overall benefits. The combination of granular data collection, advanced analytics and intelligent controls enabled continuously improving energy savings, increased facility efficiency and enabled more informed capital planning. Plus, with automated temperature control, there’s one less thing for busy store managers to worry about.

As a result of the pilot’s great success, The Source has started rolling out the solution to 50 more stores across Canada this year. The Source will continue to partner with Bell on future solutions that will help them become more efficient while enhancing customer experience.