March 8, 2020 BY Singh360

Phantom Electricity Load is Killing Your Grocery Store’s Profitability – Fight Back with the Checklist 360 Mobile App!

Equipment such as chicken warmer, the wrapper machine, Kitchen hoods, night blinds, and dozens of other pieces of equipment leach almost 15-20% of total grocery store energy costs. If left ON when not in use, it can cost you millions. Singh360’s mobile application helps reduce plug load and wasted electricity. 

What is Phantom Electricity Load?

As Facility and Energy Managers responsible for cost effective operations, you must pay close attention to these out-of-site, easy to ignore drain on your electricity consumption.

Commercial buildings are responsible for 41 percent of U.S. primary energy use. Since 1995, plug load energy consumption has increased about 235 percent. Plug loads are a major contributor to building energy consumption.

In commercial buildings, plug loads are one of the fastest-growing end uses in terms of energy consumption. We can no longer ignore plug loads (Rocky Mountain Institute).

Phantom Electricity Load
Phantom Electricity or Plug Load
Why is Plug Load Killing Profitability?

When you’re running on 1% margin, every penny counts. Your supermarket chain probably spends millions of dollars a year on energy.

…And your stores routinely waste 15 to 20 percent of that total energy consumption on equipment that plugs into electrical outlets, wrappers, scales, chicken warmers, kitchen hoods, walk-in cooler lights, room lighting, and much more.

These devices consume what’s called phantom or plug electricity load.

They often burn electricity even after a store’s operating hours. And no one is around to buy anything. If a 100 grocery store chain neglects to turn off just 50% of its plug load, it can easily waste a few million dollars a year.

Poof. Gone…

Why does this Phantom Electricity Load happen?

Staff turnover is high. It’s hard to keep employees trained. People tend to forget things. Equipment has “always just ran that way.” No one steps up to ask questions.

Do any of the employees really care?

I bet the facility or energy manager sure does.

The majority of buildings have made great improvements in terms of energy efficiency and overall energy management. The same cannot be said for the growing number of electronics and other pieces of equipment plugged into electrical outlets in these buildings.

On the contrary, while base building systems have become more efficient, plug loads have done something closer to the opposite. Plug loads refer to electric power consumed by products through an ordinary alternating current plug socket.

While the definition may be construed more or less narrowly, the basic idea is that plug loads are a different beast than a building’s so-called “base systems” load, which include HVAC, lighting, water heating and so forth (Forbes).

Managing Phantom Load with a Mobile Application?

Now, a simple smartphone application helps reduce plug load and wasted electricity. The store manager or energy manager sees a simple dashboard on their mobile device highlighting areas of concern.

Singh360 Checklist Mobile Application


A checklist shows the right times to turn equipment on or off. If a store doesn’t fill its chicken warmers until 10:30 a.m., you don’t want employees turning them on at 4:00 a.m.

The Checklist 360 mobile application from Singh360 will keep track of these details.

You can easily customize the checklist for each grocery store. The app also shows facility managers which equipment was turned on or off at the right times every day.

At the corporate headquarters, they can see which stores are most and least efficient in managing their electricity plug load. This centralized visibility quickly identifies where to focus to stop the electricity bleed.

The Singh360 mobile application helps manage the electricity plug load by focusing on reducing wasted electricity while improving people processes. Watch a video overview of how it works.

This same application can be extended and used for other service reminders that are critical for grocery store operations such as sanitation and food safety.

For every million dollars you save in energy use, you add as much profit as a typical chain produces by selling groceries worth $30 million or more.

About Singh360 Energy

Singh360 Energy is a software & services company focused on driving energy savings for multi-site building owners. We specialize in building management systems (BMS), energy efficiency, utility bill analysis, and system optimization for buildings.

Now you can manage energy efficiency for many buildings and distributed sites with an easy, cloud-base software. Learn how you can reduce wasted electricity from your phantom electricity loads with Singh360’s Checklist Mobile Application. This App does the hard work for you.

ref.1 Rocky Mountain Institute – “How to defeat the massive plug-load monster.

ref.2 Forbes – “Energy Waste Rebounds: Top 10 Energy Pigs in the Plug