Wray's Marketfresh IGA Success Story

Wray’s owner Chris Brown (center) is joined by Pacific Power Regional Business Manager Toby Freeman and Project Manager Hallie Gallinger.Wray’s owner Chris Brown (center) is joined by Pacific Power Regional Business Manager Toby Freeman and Project Manager Hallie Gallinger.

Pacific Power has selected Wray’s Marketfresh IGA as a 2016 wattsmart® Business Partner of the Year for their continued leadership in energy efficiency.

The Yakima, Washington, grocery store chain has participated in Pacific Power’s energy efficiency programs since 2011, completing six projects to date. These efforts are saving more than 769,600 kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to power approximately 49 typical homes for a year.

“I'm very happy to be recognized for just trying to do our part,” said Wray’s owner Chris Brown.

Energy bills down $48,000 per year

Wray’s Marketfresh IGA has been serving Yakima customers since 1955. Over the years, the company has grown to three locations in the city. Chris Brown is the third generation to head the family-owned and operated business.

“A lot of independent groceries tend to be a little more reliant on used equipment, which isn't always the most efficient,” Brown said. “We've been trying to take care of that challenge – we don't want to waste power.”

Wray’s Marketfresh recently completed energy-saving equipment retrofits in its three stores in Yakima: Wray’s Chalet, Wray’s Southgate and Wray’s Meadowbrook. These projects included lighting and refrigeration equipment upgrades such as refrigerated case lighting, LED store lighting upgrades, floating suction and head pressure controls, VFDs on condensers and anti-sweat heater controls.

The energy-cost savings resulting from these and earlier projects reduce Wray’s electricity bill by more than $48,000 annually.

“I need to get my calculator out, but I think the bill's down a lot more than we had originally anticipated,” Brown said.

There also has been less maintenance required since the equipment upgrades, Brown reported.

“Even when lights are supposed to last 10,000 hours, it seems you get some that still only last a couple of hundred hours and you're out there replacing them. We have not had that challenge with the LEDs,” he said. “And we've had only a couple of tweaks as far as all the refrigeration work – a few minor things, but very few visits from the repairman – it’s been great.”

Incentives ‘extended the budget quite a bit’

Wray’s Marketfresh IGA has received more than $98,000 in wattsmart Business incentives from Pacific Power for its energy efficiency improvements. Brown said the availability of Pacific Power technical support and incentives make a difference when deciding to go ahead with projects.

“It makes a significant impact,” he said. “Without help, I definitely wouldn’t have done all the projects we did. I only had so much in the budget and the rebate money extended the budget quite a bit.”

The excellent results have the grocery store chain looking to continue its energy-efficient ways, taking advantage of Pacific Power’s help to keep the savings coming.

“We'll keep partnering as long as we’ve got projects and they’ve got programs,” said Brown.

Learn more about energy efficiency services and incentives for businesses »