Retail, Food Service & Grocery

Retail, Food Service & Grocery

The Retail, Food Service and Grocery sectors spend over $41 billion on energy costs a year, and represent 14 billion square feet of floorspace in the U.S. Collectively, Better Buildings Alliance sector members account for almost 3 billion square feet of building space, or 19% of retail floor space nationwide. Through their engagement with the program, these organizations share tips and strategies for overcoming energy efficiency barriers and meeting their organization’s energy use reduction goals.

Try Proven Energy Strategies: Learn from Partner Implementation Models
Connect With The Interior Lighting Campaign: Save On Lighting Energy Costs
The Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign: Improve Conditioning Efficiency
Retrofitting Open Refrigerated Display Cases?: Tell Us About It!
Save Energy In Your Kitchen: Install Demand-Controlled Ventilation
Better Buildings Alliance Open House Webinar: Watch Now
Highlighted Sector Activities

View select opportunities available to Alliance partners. Sign up for a technology campaign, engage in peer-exchange call with experts, or adopt another partner's proven solution.

Partner List

Through the Better Buildings Alliance, over 200 public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency. 

2017 Progress Report

More than 345 leading public and private sector organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge are saving 240 trillion Btus and an estimated $1.9 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings.

Featured Solutions

Staples fulfillment center staff conducted Eco-Treasure Hunts, tracking down energy and water savings opportunities at target facilities.
Jodenne Scott speaks to equipment and behavioral changes for reductions.
This implementation model describes Shari's Cafe & Pies efforts to motivate employee behavior change, in order to achieve improved energy-efficiency.
Learn strategies to effectively communicate with and motivate behavior change from the people who hold resource consumption in their hands every day, including specific language, techniques for gaining buy-in, and even an app!
New restaurant design with energy efficient equipment and new HVAC System drives more than 50% energy-per-transaction savings.
Serves as a one-stop shop to improve access to green leasing resources. It features case studies, sample lease language, best practices, and toolkits. It was produced through a collaboration of Better Buildings Alliance members with the U.S. General Services Administration, Building Owners and Managers Association International, Natural Resources Defense Council, Institute for Market Transformation, NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Other Resources


This framework provides a common reference that can be used to understand key distinguishing factors and core attributes of different solutions within the family of EMIS technologies.
This guide introduces incentive and financing programs available to support the installation and use of EMIS in commercial buildings.

Implementation Models

Best Buy established a rolling portfolio-wide lighting retrofit program using maintenance funds instead of capital budget.
Capital Set Aside Fund Implementation Model
To promote energy-efficiency, 3M created a special pool of capital to fund cost-saving energy efficiency projects that provided positive returns, but otherwise failed to meet the company’s investment criteria.
Shorenstein established a fellowship position that provides analytic and strategic support to accelerate energy efficiency investment and communicate the value of sustainable investments.
Sprint’s multifaceted energy efficiency strategy includes applying a unique energy savings approach to each asset class and tying compensation to energy reduction, which has resulted in more than $60 million in avoided energy costs.
Energy Finance Strategy Implementation Model
Kohl’s embedded members of the Finance Department into the Energy team to expedite communication of financial benefits and approval of energy efficiency projects.


This report documents a large-scale assessment of energy information system (EIS) uses, costs, and energy benefits, based on a series of focused case study investigations that are synthesized into generalizable findings.
This report provides guidance on Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) systems in commercial food service facilities.
This document introduces the key elements to consider in making the business case for a proactive high-efficiency RTU replacement strategy for facility maintenance staff and building engineers responsible for energy management.


A Better Buildings webinar summarizing available retrofit technologies for advanced control of walk-in coolers and freezers (WICFs). Nine WICF control technologies were discussed and a matrix of their key energy-saving features was presented.
This webinar provided an overview of developments in commercial kitchen Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) technology.

Additional Information

ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard
A proven approach for U.S. industrial and commercial facilities to continually improve energy performance. This powerful new standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides an internationally recognized framework for organizations to voluntarily implement an energy management system.

ENERGY STAR Management Guidelines
Tools, resources, and strategic energy management guidance for measuring and reducing energy consumption.

ENERGY STAR Teaming Up To Save Energy Guide
A “how-to” guide discussing the structure, launch, and maintenance of energy management teams.

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Sustainability Initiative Energy & Greenhouse Gas Emissions Tools and Resources
Resources for retail organizations identified by RILA’s Energy & Greenhouse Gas Emissions Committee.

Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides (AERGs) were created to help decision makers plan, design, and implement energy improvement projects in their facilities. Guides are available for office buildings, retail buildings, and grocery buildings.

Advanced Energy Design Guides
Created by ASHRAE and its partners, the Advanced Energy Design Guides for 50% Savings offer designers and contractors the tools needed for achieving a 50% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of Standard 90.1-2004. View guides for big box retail, small box retail, and grocery buildings (coming soon).

DOE 179d Tax Deduction Eligibility Calculator
A DOE approved tool that provides calculations to determine eligibility for the 179D federal tax deduction as a substitute for other modeling software. The 179D DOE Calculator provides pre-simulated results to determine qualification for both the partial and interim compliance pathways.

Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
A comprehensive database of incentives, rebates and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.

Commercial Buildings Resource Database
The database provides resources developed by the Building Technologies Office and its partners. Building owners and operators can use this centralized collection of materials produced from DOE's commercial buildings research to design, build, and upgrade their facilities.

PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC)
A leader in commercial kitchen energy efficiency and appliance performance testing, the FSTC provides expertise in commercial kitchen ventilation, water heating and building energy efficiency, including lighting, glazing and HVAC.

Consortium for Energy Efficiency's (CEE) Commercial Kitchens Initiative
Search thousands of evaluation studies, market characterizations, and relevant efficiency documents.

National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program
Designed by the restaurant industry for the restaurant industry, an introduction to sustainability and a roadmap to help operators with easily digestible information.

ENERGY STAR for Restaurants
EPA’s ENERGY STAR program website for restaurants, which provides building energy management and measurement resources and tools.

ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings
Targeted ENERGY STAR materials and resources for commercial buildings stakeholders, including retail and grocery building owners and managers.

ENERGY STAR Commercial Kitchen Package
ENERGY STAR qualified products, guidebooks, and factsheets that help restaurant owners improve the performance of their facilities and equipment while reducing energy costs.


The Better Buildings Alliance Retail, Food Service and Grocery Steering Committee helps to set priorities for Alliance work in the sector each year. This year, sector activities focus on the following priorities:

1) Communicating new products & service needs to vendors and suppliers.
2) Retail display lighting.
3) Supply chain energy-efficiency


Steering Committee Members

  • Jim McClendon, Walmart (Chair)
  • Bruce Condit, PRSM
  • Mike Ellinger, Whole Foods Market
  • Erin Hiatt, RILA
  • Patrick Leonard, Starbucks
  • Scott Moline, Wendy's
  • Juliann Rogers, CKE Restaurants
  • Sheila S. Ongie, National Co-op Grocers
  • Jodenne Scott, Shari's Cafe and Pies
  • Bob Valair, Staples

Meet the Sector Committee Chair