Focus on: Energy Management

Michaels Stores rolls out enhanced energy management platform
Michaels’ energy conservation efforts are expected to bring EMS-related savings to more than 30%.

Michaels Stores is taking its energy conservation efforts to the next level. The arts and crafts retailer has rolled out several advanced extensions to its energy management system. The extensions are expected to bring Michaels’ total EMS-related savings to more than 30%.

Michaels deployed its present energy management system — Site Controls, from Siemens Building Technologies Division — in 2006. Since installing the system, the chain has seen substantial reductions in energy consumption across its fleet of more than 1,000 Michaels stores.

“Energy is our second highest store-level line item expense behind labor,” said Robin Moore, VP store development and construction, Michaels Stores, Irving, Texas. “Through regular KPI (key performance indicator) reviews and process improvements provided by Siemens’ Client Services team, we have been able to sustain and increase our energy savings over time, and these new extensions will take those savings even further.”

 Prior to rolling out the new capabilities, Michaels undertook a thorough system analysis after a 30-site pilot and subsequent 200-site expansion. The pilots were followed up with a comprehensive measurement and verification study, which validated the savings delivered.

The new extensions include the deployment of Siemens’ Intelligent Demand Control Ventilation, which allows retailers to reduce energy consumption by automatically controlling the amount of outside air intake based on the occupancy of each store without expensive hardware retrofits. Psychrometric controls, which dynamically adjust temperature set points to factor in both temperature and humidity while maintaining customer comfort, have also been deployed.

In addition, lighting automation upgrades have been rolled out. The upgrades enable more precise controls of lighting circuits, such as stocking zones and employee areas.

“Some of the software extensions, such as Psychrometric controls and Intelligent Demand Control Ventilation, can be deployed remotely, while the lighting automation upgrades require a Siemens crew to visit each store,” Moore said. (The rollout was due to be completed by press time.)

In addition to existing locations, the energy-saving features are being specified for new construction.

“The new extensions are now included in the design of the EMS package deployed with each new Michaels location,” Moore added.

What does Michaels think will be the biggest advantage of the extensions?

“It’s all about energy savings and ROI,” Moore explained. “We expect these savings will bring total EMS-related savings to more than 30% without negatively impacting shopping conditions or customer comfort.”

The new capabilities have a cash-on-cash payback of 20 months, and an ROI exceeding 90%, according to Siemens. The investment will also drive further reductions in Michaels’ footprint to the equivalent of removing 5,600 cars from the road annually.

While Michaels is already reaping significant savings, the chain believes even more opportunities exist.

“We definitely believe there are opportunities, and we are always willing to evaluate and deploy the ones that demonstrate savings,” Moore said. “Certainly the energy savings yielded to date are a home run. But job No. 1 is to maintain these savings over time — and we have institutionalized the operating processes and KPI reviews necessary to do this.”

Moore added that one of the great benefits of Michaels’ partnership with Siemens is the supplier’s history of bringing the retailer continuous technology enhancements.

“That makes us confident we will create even more savings opportunities in the future,” Moore said.