Bestway, Hemingway, South Carolina
10,000 Sq. Feet supermarket
Annual Cash Savings: $12,000
Annual Energy Savings: 9,600 kWh
Payback period: less than 1 year
Prevented 21,000 lbs. of pollution
When Situl Vekaria, president of the Bestway supermarket in Hemingway, SC, searched for ways to cut operating costs at his grocery store, he quickly found the “best way.” By investing in energy efficiency, he has slashed energy costs by a whopping 33 percent. His achievement has not only cut operating costs, but it’s also made his store more attractive to customers. Vekaria’s success has earned Bestway an ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award.
How did Vekaria and his store so dramatically cut energy costs? The key step Vekaria took was to convert an open 32-foot freezer to a closed glass door freezer case. The savings are huge — about $800 per month. In addition, converting the freezer has also reduced heating bills in the winter months by another $100 a month. The cost of the conversion was about $6,000, but that cost was recovered in well under a year.
Bestway has also converted its standard fluorescent lights to metal halide lamps. The benefits are two-fold: cost savings of about $50 per month and more attractive lighting for the store’s products. “The new lights have improved product visibility,” Vekaria says. “And they consume less energy and require less maintenance.”
In addition, some standard low-cost steps were taken to further reduce energy costs. The store’s hot water tank and attendant pipes were wrapped in new insulation and the heating and cooling systems were tuned up. Outside the store, trees were planted to provide shade on the storefront to reduce cooling costs in the summer. Customers also appreciate the new landscape appearance.
Vekaria, buoyed by his success so far, says he is still looking for more ways to cut energy costs. “Without taking any risks, you’ll have no savings,” he says. But he also says if a small business seeking to improve its energy efficiency contacts consultants in the field, they can provide information about how much savings a particular energy efficiency measure will produce. And that’s one of the ways that the no-cost and voluntary ENERGY STAR for small business services can help. ENERGY STAR for small business participants have access to a wide variety of technical information. In addition, ENERGY STAR for small business can help a business publicize its efforts to save energy and thus reduce the amount of pollution generated by the production of electricity. For more information, visit the ENERGY STAR for small business Web site at www.epa.gov/smallbiz or call the ENERGY STAR for small business hot line at 1-888-STAR YES.
All told, Vekaria’s store is saving more than $12,000 annually in energy costs — about 9,600 kWh of electricity in savings directly attributable to converting his open freezer to a closed glass freezer and by installing more efficient lighting. That’s about a 33 percent reduction in energy costs! These savings are so dramatic that Vekaria’s investment was recovered in less than a year — and after that, all savings go to bolster the store’s bottom line.
It’s because of success like this that Bestway won a year 2000 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award. Bestway is further proof that a small investment in making a business energy efficient can reap large financial rewards and improve the comfort and appearance of the facility.