German survey on retailers’ energy policies

A German survey on retailers’ energy policies spans the entire retail industry, representing a total worth of €165 billion in sales, i.e. about 35% of German, Austrian and Swiss retail sales. 37% of the surveyed companies were from food retailing, including supermarkets and hypermarkets. Among these (and excluding discounters), 71% use R-404A for their freezers, 11% use CO2, 5% use R-134a and the remaining 13% use HFC-507, HC-1270 or HCFC-22. For chilling, 49% use R-404A, 38% R-134a, 9% use HC-290 or HCFC-22 and a mere 4% of the surveyed retailers use CO2 although some pilot transcritical CO2 chilling systems are also used.
In food retail, refrigeration is the biggest consumer of electricity (44%), followed by lighting (27.6%) and air conditioning (7.7%). Food retailers are therefore very interested in optimising their energy savings, thanks to enclosed cooling paths (covers, doors, night rollers) for instance (a standard practice in freezing, which can also allow for up to 30% energy savings in chilling), or heat recovery and LEDS, which can provide cheaper and less heat-emitting lighting in refrigeration cabinets.