U.S. Energy Department Lights Up Over Carpinteria Store

This store was built by Eleven Western Builders, Inc.

The U.S. Energy Department has used a small town store to highlight a national program launched by President Barrack Obama last December. The new 40,000 square foot Albertsons supermarket in Carpinteria is said to have one of the lowest energy bills of any store of its size in the country.

Carpinteria is leading the change in energy efficiency and Albertsons is right there at the head of the pack,” said Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “This is really a phenomenal demonstration of what American leaders can do in energy efficiency.”

Danielson toured the store with Albertsons officials who pointed out design features that included 45 skylights, and many low energy LED lights that illuminate displays at a fraction of the cost of older style lighting. Some of the overhead lights go out automatically when there’s enough natural sunlight shining through.

The store also has large glass doors on the refrigerated food displays to keep the cool temperatures in, when older displays would send that cold air out into the store. Store Manager Ahmed Jahadhmy says with this system, customers have told him the products, “stay fresher longer.” Climbing two ladders to the rooftop, Danielson was able to see some of the refrigeration and air conditioning units that are U.S. built.

They produce all the cooling the store needs at a fraction of the cost of the previous, smaller store on the same site, prior to the remodel and expansion. Energy savings are important here. “It’s our third largest expense,” said Rick Crandall the Albertsons Environmental Stewardship Director. “From a business standpoint, it’s the right thing
to do.”

Showing off the wall of refrigeration displays that included meats, dairy products, packaged meals, and frozen vegetables, Crandall said, “this is what, I love to say, the future should be.” The upgrades to stores, “actually creates jobs as people are doing retrofits and developing new technologies,” said Danielson.

The Energy Department says there are 100 partners so far, working with the Better Buildings Challenge. They include Albertsons, Starbucks, Kohls, GE, and “even entire cities,” said Danielson. With the new energy changes, the Carpinteria store is said to have at least a 30% lower use than a traditional store of its size. The environmental benefits of this project were presented to city leaders as the store expansion was considered for an approval. Customers also said it was one of the reasons why they supported the expansion. “This community right here is an example of a community that partnered with us to make that happen. There’s a loyalty with our customer base that frankly is pretty powerful,” said Albertsons Southern California President, Dan Sanders.

Originally posted on August 27, 2012 at www.keyt.com.
By KEY News Staff