PROJECT OVERVIEW AND KEY OBJECTIVES
Kitchen Stuff Plus is a leading discount retailer of house wares and home decor with 10 retail locations throughout Canada. Founded in 1987 and rapidly expanding. In the Spring of 2009, Toronto area retail chain, Kitchen Stuff Plus sought a light commercial energy management system to pilot in the company’s newest store in Mississauga, Ontario. Kitchen Stuff Plus chose this store for a pilot because it had the highest energy bill and was therefore the easiest place to measure savings due to the considerable costs of heating/cooling the location.
To determine which Energy Management System they would install, Kitchen Stuff Plus compared a variety of programmable devices from Home Depot as well as the Omni II from HAI and the ecobee Energy Management System. The company chose the ecobee Energy Management System as it was the only solution that offered them the central management capabilities that they required. Kitchen Stuff Plus was especially interested in the ecobee Energy Management System due to its comprehensive reporting and diagnostics capabilities and remote access.
OVERVIEW OF INSTALLATION PROCESS
After signing the contract, Kitchen Stuff Plus hired their preferred HVAC company, Kevin Orr Mechanical, to install 4 ecobee Energy Management System units in the approximately 12,600 sq. ft. store- one for each Roof Top Unit (RTU).
Installation of the ecobee Energy Management System was simple and fast with a basic four-wire install. “The documentation that came with the units was thorough and easy to follow, so our team had the ecobee up and running very quickly,” said John Thompson, IT Director, Kitchen Stuff Plus. “We found the interface extremely intuitive and easy to understand. And the ecobee customer service team was a pleasure to work with—incredibly responsive and helpful.”
Due to the advanced reporting capabilities of the ecobee Energy Management System, the Kitchen Stuff Plus team was able to almost immediately diagnose why this retail location was consuming so much more energy than their comparable stores. Because of the depth of detail in the ecobee online graphs that diagram HVAC performance, the team discovered that one of the company’s rooftop units was not working like the others. After an HVAC contractor pointed out that the thermostat was not getting the air that was blowing out of the rooftop unit, the team pulled out the original HVAC blueprints and discovered that the HVAC work did not match the blueprints whatsoever.
Kitchen Stuff Plus has experienced measurable energy savings from the installation of the ecobee Energy Management System. Looking at April-December in 2009 and 2010, Kitchen Stuff Plus compared energy and gas savings between store ST010 (ecobee) and store ST008 (similar size, same lighting and construction with a programmable thermostat from another manufacturer). In both energy and gas, the ecobee Energy Management System showed both substantial savings over the course of the two periods reviewed:
|Gas Consumption (m3)|
Electricity saved in the first 6 months was approximately $6500, and gas about $800. In electricity, the ecobee Energy Management System saved 10.44% more energy and 3.88% more gas than the competitor’s programmable thermostat. Once Kitchen Stuff Plus netted out the other store (weather, etc), they found that they saved about $3000 total due to ecobee. Based upon the initial costs of equipment, their payback was roughly 8 months.
Overall, the Kitchen Stuff Plus found the project a complete success and continue to appreciate the tremendous energy savings, diagnostic capabilities and remote management of the ecobee Energy Management System. They are eager to continue to work with the ecobee team in efforts to develop APIs that will allow them to manage ecobee units in even more advanced applications in conjunction with their store scheduling software.