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Shaw's Dims Lights to Save Energy

WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- If things seem a little dimmer at Shaw's Supermarket units these days, it's not your eyesight -- the lights aren't as bright as they used to be. The 210-store New England grocer has begun dimming lights in all of its locations, in a move to conserve energy.

According to published reports in the New England press, the chain has posted signs at the entrances of its stores to notify shoppers that the lights have been turned down lower, in a bid to save energy.

The initiative, which was launched in September, was rolled out to all stores under the umbrella of Shaw's parent company Albertsons, part of the Boise, Idaho-based supermarket chain's goal to lower its electricity consumption by at least 20 million kilowatt hours per month nationwide. Shaw's spokeswoman Judy Chong told the Herald newspaper of Portsmouth, N.H., "We are dimming the lights during the day, trying to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent and reduce consumption by 50 percent during the night."

The initiative is scheduled to last indefinitely, added Chong. Shaw's is additionally employing increased diligence when handling refrigerator products, among other energy-saving strategies. For instance, when transporting such items, staffers are instructed to make sure the refrigerator doors are tightly shut. The store is also working to maintain a constant temperature.

Facing skyrocketing energy rates in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, supermarkets are increasingly turning to such conservation measures. Last week Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Bros. revealed its own initiatives in the same arena.
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