EVERETT — Snohomish County Public Utility District is preparing to test an innovative approach to energy efficiency in the fast-paced retail sector.
The pilot project and competition will be hosted by 10 Starbucks Coffee Co. stores in Snohomish County. It will serve to develop, test and document a program model that produces consistent and measurable energy savings. The team will work with baristas to find ways to adjust work routines that will reduce the amount of energy required to run their stores without impacting customer service. The model could be applied to help small businesses in Snohomish County and throughout the Pacific Northwest save energy.
The pilot project, funded in part by a grant from the Bonneville Power Administration, tests whether access to energy-use data coupled with competition among stores can drive energy conservation. The PUD selected PECI, an energy efficiency solutions provider, to help develop and implement the pilot. Other partners in the project include Puget Sound Energy and Lucid.
“We appreciate this opportunity to collaborate with Starbucks and our program partners to develop and pilot new ways to generate energy savings,” said Jim West, PUD assistant general manager of customer and energy services. “Behavior-driven energy efficiency is a topic of great interest in the Pacific Northwest. Snohomish PUD is helping to lead the way in evaluating its full potential.”
The pilot pairs a 30-day competition among the 10 Starbucks stores with energy measurement software, Lucid’s Building Dashboard platform, to promote employee behavior change through real-time energy usage information, employee engagement and focused energy-savings strategies. It complements a broad range of energy efficiency and sustainability goals embraced by Starbucks.
“We have committed to reducing energy and water use in company-owned stores by 25 percent by 2015,” said Jim Hanna, director of environmental stewardship at Starbucks. “This pilot project demonstrates our ongoing desire to meet our customers’ expectations of providing a premium experience while at the same time constantly evaluating our environmental performance.”
“This is another example of the Northwest’s leadership in energy efficiency,” said Karen Meadows, acting vice president of BPA Energy Efficiency. “We commend Snohomish PUD and Starbucks for venturing into this relatively new potential source of energy savings and energy-efficiency awareness. We are eager to see the results of this innovative pilot project.”