Pathmark Lauded for Energy Cost Controls

CARTERET, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores, Inc. has won an award for wielding innovation and resourcefulness to lower its energy costs, said the Energy Planning Network (EPN), a peer group for corporate energy and facility management professionals.

The award officially is EPN's 2004/2005 Energy Users Excellence Award for Best Cost-Control Initiative. Pathmark's partner in the initiative is Boston-based demand response and energy management solutions provider EnerNOC, Inc. Pathmark's initiative, which has lowered energy expenditures by merging enhanced metering and communications technology, existing assets, and resourceful execution, was implemented and managed by EnerNOC.

The award will be presented by EPN to Pathmark's energy manager, Steve Castracane, during the organization's Large Energy Users Summit early next month.

"EnerNOC helped us realize exceptional value by integrating demand response into our overall energy strategy," said Castracane in a statement. "We've gained insight into our energy use that we never had before." In total, the 143-store Pathmark chain boasts 8 million square feet and 73 megawatts of electric demand.

"Pathmark's award submission clearly demonstrated a well-executed, innovative project that added economic benefit directly to the company's bottom line," said EPN's managing director, John Hoggard. "Further, it was apparent that this initiative will continue to add value over time well beyond the cost savings."

EnerNOC's turnkey demand response solution enables Pathmark to take part in the New York Independent Systems Operator's (NYISO) Installed Capacity/Special Case Resource (ICAP/SCR) Program. This program, created to help relieve electrical system constraints during critical periods, pays participants for electric demand they commit to lower when asked by NYISO to do so.

Twenty-three Pathmark stores were initially equipped with EnerNOC's system, which meters and controls both generator output and facility electric usage, and permits communication between EnerNOC's Network Operations Center (NOC) and the facilities' assets via Internet and the company's wireless network. When an event notification by the NYISO is received, the NOC automatically and remotely lowers the amount of load Pathmark takes from the grid by starting on-site generators, switching load from the grid to the generator, and shutting off lighting load by putting the store into night set-back mode.

During a demand response event, half of the interior lighting is turned off, as well as the load supplied by the generator. This load is normally managed by the grocer's existing Building Environment and Refrigeration Energy Management System, but can be independently controlled by the NOC with control wire that is run in parallel to the existing equipment.

Under the initiative, 50 kilowatts on average can be curtailed at each store during such demand response events. Pathmark realized a substantial new revenue stream with its participation in 2004, and this year the retailer has continued to roll out the initiative across its chain, along with increasing the benefits for each store by rewiring additional loads for greater curtailment potential. Since the being informed earlier this year that it would receive the award, Pathmark has agreed to add more than 25 stores to New York's ICAP/SCR Program, leading to higher annual revenue from the program.

"Pathmark's energy consumption has become much more transparent due to real-time monitoring and information availability through EnerNOC's secure Internet customer portal," said EnerNoc director, business development Kathy Loftus. "This transparency allows for remote identification and correction of failures, faster maintenance dispatch, custom control schedules, targeted efficiency upgrades, and more effective energy procurement."

According to Castracane, "By far the most exciting aspect of this initiative is that it gives Pathmark an additional opportunity to support our communities. When we are shutting our lights off, we are directly impacting the local supply of electricity and helping to keep it flowing to the homes of our customers." Pathmark operates supermarkets mainly in the New York-New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

EPN helps members maximize energy savings by providing a central, unbiased clearinghouse of vital resources, networking, and advocacy. The group's Annual Energy Users Excellence Awards honor exceptional efforts by commercial, industrial, and institutional facility owners/operators. Entries are judged by a panel of peers, among them corporate energy managers, and representatives from electric, gas and water companies.
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