Crystal Fresh Market upgrades to energy-efficient refrigeration

TWO GRANTS HELPED Crystal Fresh Market replace its refrigeration cases with more energy-efficient equipment. From left are Ross Tresedder, Crystal Fresh Market owner; Jeff Forbes, WPPI Energy Services representative; Dave Graff, Crystal Falls Electric Department manager; Lindsay Wagner, Efficiency United Energy advisor; and Zack Stuck, Crystal Fresh Market store manager.

CRYSTAL FALLS — A grocer is achieving “cool” new savings with help from Crystal Falls’ locally owned, not-for-profit electric utility.

Crystal Fresh Market, a family-owned grocery business with 37 employees, recently replaced all of its 1960s-era refrigeration cases as a part of a larger store renovation project.

The new refrigeration cases are expected to save 148,800 kilowatt hours of energy a year for an annual cost savings of about $15,877.

Crystal Falls and wholesale power provider WPPI Energy provided a $8,077 grant for the upgrades. Efficiency United provided an additional $2,500 incentive.

“We make it a priority to support our local businesses,” said Dave Graff, Crystal Falls Electrical Department supervisor. “The project will help boost the bottom line by reducing energy waste.”

The new units include enclosed cases with doors, multi-deck open cases, plus new frozen foods and dairy walk-in freezers with LED lighting and evaporator ECM motors.

Refrigeration equipment is the single biggest energy user in the grocery industry.

“It is widely held, refrigeration accounts for over 50 percent of all energy consumed in the grocery industry,” said Jeff Forbes, Senior Energy Services Representative for Crystal Falls.

The project follows an LED lighting upgrade the company completed at the beginning of 2017. Michigan’s statewide energy efficiency program Efficiency United provided an additional $5,000. Efficiency United is funded by the City of Crystal Falls’ Electric Department and 16 other Michigan utilities. It provides financial incentives to business customers to encourage those customers to complete energy efficiency projects.