The true running cost of your building – Supermarket example​

The true running cost of your building – Supermarket example​ 


Understanding the true running cost of your building is the first step to reducing your overheads and cutting your environmental impact – which is vital for achieving Net Zero Carbon and meeting your ESG responsibilities.

This is especially important for large-scale buildings which are often poorly understood and do not have the appropriate metering and monitoring systems in place to give owners a true knowledge of their building’s performance.

For example, supermarkets are one of the largest energy consumers in the UK. These are large buildings with elements which need power 24 hours a day, and it is estimated that the sector is responsible for 3% of all national emissions.

When undertaking an energy usage audit for a supermarket building, with the aim of cutting energy usage and emissions, it is important to understand its unique features. For example, unlike most commercial or residential buildings, a supermarket will have year round refrigeration needs which account for between 30-60% of their energy usage according to the Technical Report on Energy Efficiency from the Environment Investigation Agency.

Clearly, it would be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to cut the amount of energy refrigeration uses in supermarkets without making them economically unviable. In this case, the IBG process would turn to decentralised and renewable energy solutions in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the refrigeration units as much as possible to increase building efficiency and target high levels of commercial energy saving.

Indeed, the carbon footprint of refrigeration systems can be split into direct and indirect emissions; the former accounting for the carbon footprint of the refrigerants used, the latter concerning the energy consumed to run the system. By installing decentralised or renewable energy solutions on a supermarket, you can cut those indirect emissions immediately and reduce the carbon footprint of a refrigeration system to its absolute minimum.

Aside from refrigeration, the main energy usage in supermarkets comes from lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Together, these areas account for the other 40-70% of energy used in supermarkets, and it is here that significant savings can be made immediately with the IBG system – which works in the following way.

The first step is to prioritise data collection through the installation of a networked metering and monitoring system, complete with sensors, on a fast fibre network which provides real time information on how much energy the building is using and how the load is distributed.

In this way, you can achieve total practical control of your building, and all usage can be viewed on our cloud-based building management system. Furthermore, once you have this data, rules for automation can be set within pre-agreed parameters which will control energy usage automatically and efficiently. Finally, the decentralised and renewable energy systems which cut refrigeration energy usage are also linked into the same network to provide the full picture for your building.

By installing the IBG smart technology network in a supermarket, substantial energy savings can be achieved quickly and intelligently, leading to reduced overheads and carbon footprint. The environmental benefits are vital for any supermarket owner looking to work towards Net Zero Carbon and meet their ESG responsibilities.

The supermarket is just one example of how knowing the true running cost of your building is essential for any building owner, and the same principle applies to many other types of building such as gyms, factories, warehouses and shopping centres.


To find out more about the IBG service and to understand how you can reduce your overheads and carbon footprint at the same time through smart technology, get in touch with the IBG team today for more information.

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