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The Big Box Efficiency Project

The Big Box Efficiency Project is evaluating the impacts of installing an integrated suite of precommercial energy efficiency technologies on utility costs, human comfort, operational efficiency, water consumption and maintenance costs. Specifically, the project will assess, install, test, measure and demonstrate the effectiveness of the technologies with the goal of achieving at least a 20% reduction in electricity consumption. The multiyear project spanning Q1 2018-Q1 2022 is a partnership between the California Energy Commission, Walmart, Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and other key partners.

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Big box energy efficiency technology test site

Big box energy efficiency technology test site

The Challenge

Predicting the technical and financial performance of energy efficiency technology packages is complicated. This is due to a combination of factors including untested interactive effects and unproven savings benefits of precommercial technologies. The objective is to model and test technologies and systems and create a blueprint for large commercial buildings across California with similar end‐use and system characteristics. How and when are we doing it?

Project rollout details

The Test Site

The technology test site is an existing 20‐year‐old, 134,285-square-foot Walmart Supercenter located in Covina, California, in Southern California Edison’s service territory.

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Big box energy efficiency technology test site

The Benefits

The project will directly impact Walmart’s future store specifications that can be replicated and deployed in other buildings across California with similar end-use and system characteristics. Additionally, through a partnership with Southern California Edison, the findings from this project will be included in their statewide Integrated Demand-Side Management (IDSM) portfolio development. Additional benefits include the following.

How are we achieving these benefits?

The Environmental Context

California Senate Bill 350 aims to double statewide electricity and gas end-use savings from EE and conservation measures by 2030. This is equivalent to a 20% reduction in projected statewide building energy use. Meeting this aggressive target will require the commercial building industry to install holistic EE technology packages, specifically those that leverage emerging, precommercial products. According to the 2013 Navigant California Potential and Goals Study, aging commercial buildings, particularly in inland communities, present the greatest energy savings potential. However, many building owners operate in a resource-constrained environment and lack the ability to perform the rigorous evaluation required to vet the technologies and technology packages that would provide deep energy savings.

The Project Team

With funding from the California Energy Commission, the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is partnering with Walmart, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), TRC Energy Services (TRC), P2S Engineering, Inc. (P2S), Southern California Edison (SCE), Davenergy Solutions (Davenergy), Emily Grene and several innovative technology providers including Locbit, i2 Systems, Turntide by Software Motor Company, Integrated Comfort Inc. and SAYA.

Project Partners

Davenergy Solutions
Emily Grene

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Results & reports

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