For full-service home furnishings retailer Havertys, environmental stewardship is an important pillar in their mission statement. This commitment was put into action in 2010, through the launch of their sustainability program, HVTerra, which included a commitment to energy efficiency. Through their partnership with Ecova, Havertys implemented data-driven solutions to capture, analyze and benchmark their energy, waste, facility and maintenance data. Four years later, they joined the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to reduce energy usage by 20 percent from the baseline year of 2011. Havertys achieved a 22 percent energy reduction at the end of 2015, exceeding their 2020 goal by 5 years.
This retailer’s integrated approach to energy management, employee engagement and sustainable business practices resulted in exceeding their energy reduction goals.
“The recognition of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge has helped us validate our commitment to energy reduction,” says Rawson Haverty, Jr., senior vice president, real estate and development.
With 7 million square feet of retail storefront, offices and warehouse space, Haverty’s set a goal, to identify and evaluate exactly which buildings and/or systems were inefficient. Prior to 2009, the company had limited tools for collecting or managing their energy data to establish baselines or benchmarks, and no foundation from which to build an energy strategy. While roughly one third of their sites had various Energy Management Systems (EMS), they had limited ways to access the data from them. Since most sites lacked EMS, they had to manually extract data from multiple utility sources and onsite resources to identify opportunities.
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
Gaining access to better data for the HVTerra initiative became Havertys’ top priority. Additionally, they needed to understand and document their official energy-efficiency goals. To address these challenges, they formed a cross-functional HVTerra team, spanning energy, waste, sustainability, and sourcing, which mapped a five-year plan with the following energy goals:
- Claim sustainability as a competitive strategy
- Complete current-state assessments, including baseline metrics
- Set energy reduction goals and timeframes, beginning with increasing awareness and reducing electric energy use (kWh) by 5 percent the first year
To achieve these goals, Havertys knew they needed help. Ecova provided the company with the means to collect energy data and insight into usage patterns for tracking costs. Ecova also helped Havertys develop and implement a consistent energy management strategy across the entire organization.
Ecova helped Havertys gain control over their utility expenses by ensuring their bills were accurate and paid on time while also optimizing energy rates, obtaining refunds and addressing efficiency opportunities and anomalies where applicable. Additionally, both companies worked to maximize the value of Havertys’ EMS and smart meters with the following efforts:
- Prioritized locations for EMS installs based on the greatest ROI, monitoring and resolving EMS alarms and inbound service calls remotely where possible
- Executed EMS re-commissioning at over 20 locations to make sure sites were properly controlled
- Installed smart meters at showrooms and facilities to record electric consumption in 15-minute intervals to verify and measure the effectiveness of energy efficiency projects
TAKING IT A NOTCH HIGHER
Havertys’ energy management strategy yielded tremendous bottom-line savings, improved operational efficiencies and continued data insights, allowing them to pinpoint other value-add projects, including:
- At one of the stores re-commissioned the project alone resulted in a 16 percent reduction in energy in one year
- An LED retrofit pilot that reduced electric energy consumption by over by 40-60 percent between sites in just two years and provided the data for the company to roll out a larger CapEx program, retrofitting over 90,000 lamps to date
- An HVAC retrofit that reduced energy consumption by about 20 percent at a single location and provided data to support similar retrofits throughout the company, including plans to replace inefficient systems and right-size HVAC systems when replacements are being considered
The company’s newfound, data-driven insights also enabled them to tackle other initiatives, including joining the Better Buildings Challenge. Havertys Better Buildings Challenge efforts were recognized by the Department Of Energy with a 2016 Energy Goal Achiever award. The Showcase Project for the Challenge included a comprehensive energy upgrade with the following elements:
- Installing a more energy-efficient white reflective TPO roof
- Investing in new, high-efficiency HVAC systems
- Transitioning to LED lighting from incandescent lighting on the sales floor, which has lightened the load for maintenance staff and also helped showcase their products better
SEEING THE VALUE
Today, the HVTerra team meets regularly to evaluate existing efforts and look for new ways to reduce energy use. After the installation of EMS across their portfolio of sites, Havertys contracted with Ecova to monitor and remotely manage system alarms. From this effort, they realized 97 percent remote EMS issue resolution and reduced maintenance truck rolls using Ecova’s Responsive Monitoring 24/7/365 Operations Control Center.
At the company’s Better Building Challenge Showcase project in Virginia Beach, upgrades have already reduced electricity use by over 40 percent to date. New LED lighting at the location has also lowered heating loads, which has in turn reduced HVAC tonnage by 20 percent.
“By changing to the new LED lights, the life of the lamp has gone from one year to basically twelve and a half years,” explains Glenn Boone, director of construction and design. “That means less heat, less energy and less work.”
By establishing clear sustainability goals, clarifying metrics, and gathering critical data and insight into their energy usage and costs, Havertys has been able to advance their EMS strategy and monitoring efforts while helping to reduce their maintenance costs. The resulting data has allowed the company to identify capital investment areas for energy efficiency initiatives. Looking forward, the company is focused on optimizing energy monitoring for the purpose of further reducing energy consumption.