September 27, 2015 BY Singh360

Upper Midwest Grocery Chain Strack & Van Til Cuts Store Electricity Use Over 25% in Less 12 Months

Company cites key help from SINGH360 and Energy Advantage, Inc.,

Minneapolis, MN: The 38-store grocery chain Strack & Van Til (SVT) has reduced its use of electricity by 26.6% in a two-store pilot program begun in 2014. Overall, the chain cut electricity use by 11.5% in stores open more than a year.

“It was critical for us to reduce one of our largest controllable expenses,” said Andy Raab, vice president real estate at SVT, LLC, which owns and operates Strack & Van Til. “We wanted to save money because we have an aggressive remodeling plan in the works.”

The challenges were considerable, Raab said. “Our stores are diverse. We have limited internal expertise on energy efficiency. And we have limited internal ability to measure and report on our energy performance.”

Nevertheless, SVT began a multi-part program in 2013 to reduce energy use and cost by 10% in three years, Raab said. The plan was to re-commission stores and implement new energy-efficiency technologies.

SVT turned to SINGH360 of Minneapolis, for expertise on energy efficiency. The other was Energy Advantage of Burlington, Ontario, for program design, management and data-analysis.

SINGH360 led SVT’s implementation of the efficiency measures and store recommissioning. Energy Advantage provided the independent measurement and verification process, performance analysis and incentive capture.

The chain exceeded its three-year target in just over two years. By mid-year 2015, they had cut overall electricity use by 11.5% across stores that had been operating for a year. The company calculated its savings after adjusting for differences in weather from year to year.

A key part of the program was an initial two-store pilot to verify the projected results. The pilot delivered a 26.6% reduction in electricity use in the two stores, again after allowing for differences in weather.

“SINGH360 helped us directly link store energy efficiency with our maintenance processes to reduce the costs of both energy and maintenance,” said Don Erminger, director of maintenance at SVT. “We are just getting started. We look forward to working with our partners SINGH360 and Energy Advantage to help us achieve our targeted savings.”

Now energy-efficiency measures are a core part of SVT’s multi-year remodelling capital program. The company continues to achieve similar results in recent store remodeling projects in Illinois and Indiana. SVT has since added nine new stores and reset their efficiency target for the next three years.

To implement an optimum energy solution, supermarkets need diverse knowledge and experience, said Abtar Singh, founder and CEO of SINGH360. They must understand mechanical systems, including HVAC, refrigeration, and lighting.

Grocers must also understand energy-efficient technologies such as variable-frequency drives (VFDs), electrically commutated (EC) motors, LED lighting, and door retrofitting, Singh said. Finally, they must understand how to communicate with their control systems through virtual private networks (or VPNs).

“Many retailers don’t have all these capabilities in house”, Singh said. “That’s why it makes sense for them to work with a one-stop shop where they can hire all the skills they need.”

SVT, LLC, is based in Highland, Indiana. The company operates stores in northwest Indiana and the Chicago metro area. It does business under the banners Strack & Van Til, Van Til’s, Ultra Foods and Town & Country Food Market.


About Singh360

Singh360 Energy software and services range from building-envelope assessments to complete design of mechanical and electrical systems (including HVAC, lighting and refrigeration systems) for new and existing buildings using mobile and cloud app from kWh360 Inc.

These innovations help organizations set priorities for efficiency projects based on sustainability goals, speed of payback, and the measured return on investment. Contact Singh360 to see if these innovations fit with your facility and energy management strategy going forward.

Interested in a demo?
Contact us at