RILA and The Solar Foundation analysis: Whole Foods Market’s approach to rooftop solar installations outlines measures for other retailers to consider

Arlington , VA, 2016-Sep-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — A new analysis by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and The Solar Foundation found that Whole Foods Market’s approach to rooftop solar installations in multiple facilities could be a valuable model for other retailers to consider.

The analysis, “Whole Foods Market — Making the Case for Rapid Solar Rollouts,” outlines how the grocer will complete solar installations at multiple facilities within two years. Whole Foods Market recently announced a plan to retrofit approximately 100 facilities with rooftop solar by 2017, in addition to the 40 solar installations already completed by the end of 2015.

“Whole Foods Market is going solar using an innovative approach that will save money, save time, and benefit the environment,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation. “We hope that other retailers will look to this approach as a guide for how to rapidly install solar across multiple facilities.”

“Whole Foods Market was able to find sensible solutions to many common challenges retailers face when implementing solar and ultimately created a smart pathway for expansion,” said Erin Hiatt, RILA’s senior manager, sustainability and compliance. “With more and more businesses exploring solar as a highly cost effective way to expand renewable energy generation, Whole Foods Market offers a replicable approach for the industry.”

To accomplish this solar rollout expeditiously, Whole Foods Market has to overcome several challenges, the analysis finds. First, negotiating separate arrangements with landlords for each unique solar project can be time-consuming and expensive. Second, roof quality can be a concern, especially in older buildings. Finally, the costs of financing each project can be inconsistent and uncertain.

Whole Foods Market addressed these challenges in two different ways. First, toward the end of the last decade, they began including standardized language in their solar leases, which paved the way for future solar development. Earlier this year, the grocer selected two firms, NRG and SolarCity, to develop the new rooftop solar systems. Working with a small number of system providers (two), Whole Foods Market was able to benefit from better terms, volume pricing, and consistent, field-tested hardware.

In the analysis, Whole Foods Market recommends that based on its experience, other retailers interested in rolling out solar rooftop installations:

  • Start as early as possible to assess lease language and terms, establish solar-enabling language in new leases and renewals, and talk with landlords to gauge their interest in solar.
  • Understand the building stock. Obtain structural and electrical plans, roof membrane warranties, and determine the expected life of the roof.
  • Consider a limited vendor, multi-location approach to achieve economies of scale.

The complete analysis can be found here.

About The Solar Foundation
Our mission is to accelerate adoption of the world’s most abundant energy source. Through our leadership, research, and capacity building, we create transformative solutions to achieve a prosperous future in which solar technology is integrated into all aspects of our lives. Visit us at TheSolarFoundation.org.

About the Retail Industry Leaders Association
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Contact:

Caroline Stec
Manager, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2082
Email: caroline.stec@rila.org

Source: Retail Industry Leaders Association

RILA / The Solar Foundation: Whole Foods Market’s rooftop solar installations could be a valuable model for other retailers to consider

Arlington , VA , 2016-Sep-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — A new analysis by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and The Solar Foundation found that Whole Foods Market’s approach to rooftop solar installations in multiple facilities could be a valuable model for other retailers to consider.

The analysis, “Whole Foods Market — Making the Case for Rapid Solar Rollouts,” outlines how the grocer will complete solar installations at multiple facilities within two years. Whole Foods Market recently announced a plan to retrofit approximately 100 facilities with rooftop solar by 2017, in addition to the 40 solar installations already completed by the end of 2015.

“Whole Foods Market is going solar using an innovative approach that will save money, save time, and benefit the environment,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation. “We hope that other retailers will look to this approach as a guide for how to rapidly install solar across multiple facilities.”

“Whole Foods Market was able to find sensible solutions to many common challenges retailers face when implementing solar and ultimately created a smart pathway for expansion,” said Erin Hiatt, RILA’s senior manager, sustainability and compliance. “With more and more businesses exploring solar as a highly cost effective way to expand renewable energy generation, Whole Foods Market offers a replicable approach for the industry.”

To accomplish this solar rollout expeditiously, Whole Foods Market has to overcome several challenges, the analysis finds. First, negotiating separate arrangements with landlords for each unique solar project can be time-consuming and expensive. Second, roof quality can be a concern, especially in older buildings. Finally, the costs of financing each project can be inconsistent and uncertain.

Whole Foods Market addressed these challenges in two different ways. First, toward the end of the last decade, they began including standardized language in their solar leases, which paved the way for future solar development. Earlier this year, the grocer selected two firms, NRG and SolarCity, to develop the new rooftop solar systems. Working with a small number of system providers (two), Whole Foods Market was able to benefit from better terms, volume pricing, and consistent, field-tested hardware.

In the analysis, Whole Foods Market recommends that based on its experience, other retailers interested in rolling out solar rooftop installations:

  • Start as early as possible to assess lease language and terms, establish solar-enabling language in new leases and renewals, and talk with landlords to gauge their interest in solar.
  • Understand the building stock. Obtain structural and electrical plans, roof membrane warranties, and determine the expected life of the roof.
  • Consider a limited vendor, multi-location approach to achieve economies of scale.

The complete analysis can be found here.

About The Solar Foundation
Our mission is to accelerate adoption of the world’s most abundant energy source. Through our leadership, research, and capacity building, we create transformative solutions to achieve a prosperous future in which solar technology is integrated into all aspects of our lives. Visit us at TheSolarFoundation.org.

About the Retail Industry Leaders Association
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Contact:

Caroline Stec
Manager, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2082
Email: caroline.stec@rila.org

Source: RILA

Retail Industry Leaders Association introduced its second Retail Energy Management Report

Austin, TX, 2015-9-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) introduced its second Retail Energy Management Report, a resource for companies to compare energy management programs across the industry and identify opportunities for progress. The report was released prior to the opening of RILA’s 2015 Retail Sustainability Conference, now in its eighth year.

The 2015 Retail Energy Management Report was developed under the Retail Energy Management Program, a RILA initiative that focuses on two key opportunities for improving energy performance for retailers: financial management and leased stores management. The program’s goal is to develop leading practice implementation models, educate the industry, and spur adoption of implementation models for both of these areas of focus. Earlier this year,RILA received a $750,000 grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) for expansion of its financial management program focus area. The program is sponsored by Schneider Electric, Altenex, and Wipro EcoEnergy.

The information in the report was gathered from a 62 question survey of 47 national retail companies about their energy teams, budget, and operations. RILA used this information to measure the maturity of respondents’ retail management programs against twenty-three energy dimensions, as identified in RILA’s Energy Management Maturity Matrix.

“This Report continues to be a valuable tool to track the industry’s progress in energy management practices over time, and to benchmark companies’ programs. It is our hope that this report helps retailers identify even more opportunities for growth and provides them with the resources needed to achieve their energy program goals,” said Erin Hiatt, senior manager of sustainability and compliance at RILA.

From the results of the survey, RILA identified four notable trends:

  1. Programs Continue to Improve. Even for the activities where retailers are the most mature, continued improvement in the coming years remains a goal.
  2. Energy managers understand the importance of maintaining relationships with internal and external stakeholders for effectively managing energy consumption.
  3. Retail energy management programs can yield the most results by prioritizing and aligning energy goals with other company priorities.
  4. For each dimension, there is at least one retailer at a “leading” maturity level“As new technologies and approaches evolve, so will energy management strategies and opportunities for research and leading practice sharing. We look forward to continuing to engage retail energy executives as the industry’s energy management programs evolve and mature,” added Hiatt.

You can download both this and last year’s Retail Energy Management Industry Reports at www.rila.org/energy.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers.

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Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017
Email: brian.dodge@rila.org

Retail Industry Leaders Association awarded $750,000 grant by Department of Energy to support its Retail Energy Management Program

Arlington , VA, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of the Department of Energy’s ongoing efforts to increase energy efficiency in buildings across the country, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) was recently awarded a three-year $750,000 grant to support its Retail Energy Management Program. RILA was one of eight recipients of the DOE’s total $6 million investment.

RILA’s Retail Energy Management Program project with DOE aims to drive energy and carbon reduction in the retail sector by improving retail energy managers’ ability to secure financing for efficiency projects. This is a foundational step toward realizing the $3 billion in potential energy savings estimated to be available to the industry.

“Ensuring that retail energy managers have the resources they need to implement energy projects is a crucial step in the journey towards operational efficiency and bringing value to the business,” said Erin Hiatt, senior manager of sustainability & compliance at RILA. “Ultimately, the work under the grant will increase retailer energy savings through the adoption of improved energy financial management strategies.”

RILA’s project will generate at least six financial management implementation models to illustrate how retailers can establish dedicated energy efficiency budgets, improve project proposal processes, improve finance team awareness of energy project value, improve project piloting processes, establish energy innovation funds, and leverage external financing where necessary.

“We are thrilled that the Administration has made this commitment and are ready to act on the investment,” said Hiatt. “That the DOE saw value in our program to contribute to their long-term energy goals is an honor.”

The project proposal was developed in partnership with The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), Deloitte, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), MIT, and Schneider Electric.​

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

​###​

Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017
Email: brian.dodge@rila.org