HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A supermarket chain in northeastern Pennsylvania is taking full advantage of energy-saving rebates.
"Supermarkets have a very thin margin, so every single place that we can find savings allows us to keep our prices low and allows us to stay in operation," said Joe Fasula, co-owner of Gerrity's Supermarkets.
We met Fasula at the Hanover Township Gerrity's store in Luzerne County to see what types of energy-saving measures they're taking.
"Supermarkets use such an enormous amount of energy that we're starting to see that savings immediately."
We toured the store with Joe D'Acquisto of Utility Management Solutions, part of the team that's installing the different energy-saving equipment. We started our tour in the walk-in cooler in the bakery where a new motor was installed.
"The energy savings is really gained by the efficiency in the new motor. We gained about 40, 50 percent efficiency by replacing the motor," D'Acquisto explained.
The new motor creates additional savings by running at two different modes.
"If it needs to cool the space, it can go in high mode. If it needs to maintain the space, it can go into low mode, further driving the savings."
We left the walk-in cooler for the dairy cooler where special LED lights were installed in the display case. The new display case lights have a high color rendering index lamp.
"The importance of that is that brings out the true color of a product, whether that's meat, packaging, to help make it appetizing or appealing for eating, selling, whatever the case."
In the reach-in freezer, anti-sweat heater controls were installed to prevent the doors from freezing without needing to run them constantly.
"One way to tell the difference on that is the anti-sweat heater controls that are on 24/7 feel warm. The ones that were controlled had a nice cool temperature."
Our last stop was in an aisle where bright LED lights were installed. While the aisle looked much brighter, D'Acquisto used a foot-candle meter to show that seeing isn't believing.
"What we're showing there is that while the LEDs looked brighter in appearance, the difference in light level reading is minimal," D'Acquisto said.
Joe Fasula tells us that these energy-saving measures are being installed in all Gerrity's locations.