Building Automation Systems Case Study
Grocery StoreZION MARKET
In an effort to reduce energy consumption and improve operational efficiency, Zion Market partnered with Locbit’s industry-leading innovative IoT building automation platform.
Locbit’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform is device- and protocol-agnostic, allowing monitoring, measuring and creation of energy efficiencies in real time through the interpretation of the data collected. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), the Locbit platform automatically adjusts the building infrastructure systems to achieve Demand Response in real time, reducing kWh and peak time energy usage.
Zion Market is a family-owned grocery store that opened in 1979 and was one of the first grocery stores in San Diego selling Japanese and Korean food products. The flagship location in San Diego has grown by 33-fold from its initial 3,000 square feet to the 100,000 sq. ft. building used today. Franchise growth began in 2006 and fueled the opening of six additional grocery stores in the Southern California region and a seventh location in a suburb of Atlanta, GA.
As a volume business, the average grocery store in the U.S. works on extremely thin profit margins. Eating into those margins is the continual rise of food and energy costs throughout the year.
According to Energy Star, on average supermarkets in the U.S. use around 50 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 50 cubic feet of natural gas per square foot per year – an average annual energy cost of more than $4 per square foot.
ZION CORPORATION CHALLENGES
To maintain their status as a forward-thinking and profitable company, Zion encourages innovative solutions to lower energy usage, reduce environmental footprint, and create optimal efficiency in current operational business practices. With regards to energy consumption, lighting and refrigeration can make up over 50 percent of total energy usage, presenting ideal targets to capture immediate savings.
Tim Moon, Operations Manager at Zion Market explained, “It was apparent through analyzing our utility statements that our energy costs were rising. This became one of our most critical priorities in addressing our need for finding ways to reduce power. Initially, we made concerted efforts in reducing our expenses through industry standards such as night covers for
our refrigeration panels, timers on light controls, and implementing a robust
Building Management System to control and monitor our HVAC. We certainly believed we had done enough to a point where we made great strides in power reduction. When Locbit introduced us to their software platform through the complete management and automation of smart devices, at first there was skepticism. However, with a minimal investment the results have since been tremendous and overwhelming. We could not have anticipated the huge amount of savings that is still rising with the improvement in the technology and support from Locbit. We are truly thankful for this ongoing and future relationship.”
In 2016, Zion Market installed Locbit’s IoT building automation platform in the San Diego location, which is currently monitoring seventy-five (75) IoT devices including smart plugs, motion/temperature sensors, open/close door sensors, and alarms. The Locbit IoT platform is a fully automated system that visualizes patterns and trends, helps diagnose the key inefficiencies causing unnecessary energy costs, and automatically adjusts to save energy and ultimately respond to the local electricity utility’s demand response program through automations and alerts.
Most IoT platforms available today provide effective monitoring and reporting of smart devices but stop there. The Locbit platform takes building automation to the next level, going beyond monitoring and creating automations in real time through the interpretation for the data collected.
Since its installation in September 2016, the Locbit IoT platform in conjunction with the installed IoT devices has achieved a significant reduction in the store’s energy bill, saving in excess of 20%. In one month alone, savings achieved was in excess of $20,000.