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Energy Solutions: A Guide for Warehousing

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Coastal Pacific Food Distributor Received Incentives of $190,000

Coastal Pacific Food Distributors has partnered with us on a variety of Energy Efficiency (EE) solutions to help take control of their energy usage in their Ontario facilities. “We’re proving our commitment to energy efficiency by exceeding the standards in California’s Title 24,” notes Bill Ellena, Corporate Maintenance Manager at Coastal Pacific Food Distributors in Ontario.

Through participation in Savings By Design, Express Solutions and Customized Solutions programs, Ellena has fine-tuned his company’s 330,000 square foot temperature-controlled warehouse space to take advantage of lower off-peak rates and cut his company’s electricity bills when rates are highest during critical peak periods.

With Time-Of-Use rates in effect, it’s worth taking advantage of similar energy-saving strategies.

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More Energy Management Success Stories


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Business Energy Advisor

Your business has unique energy needs, and we have customized recommendations to help you manage them. Take a survey to get information about your equipment and energy use habits, and then build an energy plan to help you achieve greater energy efficiency and better manage your bottom line.

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Finance Your Energy-Efficient Projects

Several warehouse facilities have already taken advantage of energy-efficient equipment. To help your facilities receive these same cost-efficient benefits, we offer low-interest financing for qualified energy-efficient projects.

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Energy-Efficient Solutions and Tips for Warehousing

Here are just a few of the energy programs and suggestions that our customers have employed to increase their cost efficiency. You’ll also find more business solutions in our Non-Refrigerated Warehousing Fact Sheet and Refrigerated Warehousing Fact Sheet and a complete list of all our qualifying energy-efficiency incentives and demand response programs by requesting our Solutions Directory.

Want to explore your clean energy options with SCE? We want to help lower your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Clean energy can help provide the solution.

Visit Generating Your Own Power >

Motors and Compressors

Motor-driven equipment—such as pumps, air compressors and fans—can consume a large amount of energy. Making motors and compressors more efficient could reduce your energy costs.

Here are some ways to control your costs:

  • Install automatic shut-off devices to reduce peak demand
  • Install small air compressors for low-use periods
  • Install sequencing controls on multiple-unit compressor systems
  • Install variable-frequency drives to control motor speed on swimming pool/spa pumps
  • Replace old motors with high-efficiency motors
  • Practice preventive maintenance on motor systems
  • Optimize system efficiency through smart SCADA controls, condensers, premium efficient motors, compressors and compressed air

Your warehouse may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.

Lighting and Lighting Controls

Help improve your energy efficiency by better managing your lighting costs.

With an instant start-up in low temperatures, LEDs can facilitate occupancy controls and provide better lighting quality than fluorescents, and can save up to 20 to 40 percent more refrigeration energy.*

  • Use LED bulbs and LED exit signs
  • Install dimmable ballasts to lower energy use in fluorescent lamps
  • Install inexpensive occupancy sensors
  • Install sensory controllers on vending machines

Your facilities may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.

Refrigeration and Cooling

Maximize your energy-saving by effectively managing your air-conditioning systems.

  • Insulate bare suction lines
  • Install refrigeration curtains and auto door closers, temperature controllers and door gaskets on refrigeration units
  • Install variable speed drives to match fan speed to refrigeration system cooling demands, reducing energy by up to 30 to 50% in a medium-temperature walk-in unit
  • Install programmable thermostats
  • Install window film and blinds to keep the heat out
  • Switch to LED bulbs and decrease the amount of office heat and A/C energy use
  • Sign up for HVAC Maintenance
  • Perform routine maintenance on heating and A/C filters, belts, coils and bearings
  • Increase insulation in walls and ceilings when possible
  • Install sensory controllers on vending machines or shut them down for a short period

There are many more energy-efficient solutions.

Energy-Efficient Equipment

Purchase equipment that more effectively manages your energy use

  • Upgrade to high-efficiency office equipment, including laptops, which use less than a third of the energy of a desktop
  • Install load-sensing or occupancy-sensing plug strips to make it easier for your staff to power down
  • Install PC network software to automatically control the power setting of networked computers
  • Install water-conserving toilets and faucets in bathrooms
  • Replace older, less water-efficient equipment
  • Install new, water-efficient commercial equipment to minimize water demand
  • Change process water system to reuse processed wastewater


You can benefit from even more energy-efficient equipment options.

Demand Response Programs (DR)

With these programs, receive bill credits for temporarily reducing energy use upon request during periods of high-energy demand. Choose the ones that best fit your operational needs.


Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR)

Receive energy savings by using smart technology that effortlessly and temporarily reduces the amount of energy your business uses (known as “load reduction”) during a DR event. With Auto-DR, load reduction is automatic and reliable, so it’s easier to participate in DR programs to capitalize on program earnings and help lower your energy costs.

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No-Cost, Do-It-Yourself Tips

Here are some immediate ways to significantly reduce your business energy use:

Tips Hide Tips
  • Match energy consumption to actual needs. Often, head pressure is left at a high set point determined by the peak design day. Refrigeration controls can modulate and reduce the head pressure, typically saving 3 to 15% annually*
  • Let floating suction controls monitor ambient temperature
  • By continuously varying suction pressure to meet demand, the savings can be significant, typically from 2 to 10% annually*
  • Delay electric-resistant defrost controls
  • Pre-cool before 8 a.m., then reduce or shift refrigeration load between noon and 6 p.m.
  • Manage evaporative fan speeds
  • Raise cooling thermostat settings
  • Inspect weather stripping for deterioration or gaps around doors and windows
  • Turn off unnecessary lighting, ornamental or display lighting and office equipment
  • Utilize day lighting options and reduce lighting levels
  • Install photocells or time clocks on outdoor lighting systems so they only operate from dusk to dawn
  • Practice preventative maintenance on motor systems and replace old motors with high-efficiency motors for improved performance.
  • Install auto shut-off devices to reduce peak demand
  • Reduce compressed air discharge pressure by 10 psi or at the lowest pressure allowed by your system.
  • Repair air leaks in hoses and pipe connections
  • Reduce air compressors and processing loads using pre-programmed load shed strategies
  • Turn off vertical lifts, conveyor belts and non-essential process equipment
  • Charge batteries and battery-operated equipment during before noon and after 6 p.m.
  • Enable lower power mode setting for computers, monitors, and imaging equipment
  • Engage staff; make sure they understand why, when, and how to power down
  • Encourage staff to minimize printing to reduce energy


* Strategic Energy Management Market Assessment Study: Food Processors and Beverage Manufacturers [Market Strategies International for Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance], 2012.

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