WASHINGTON — Among the attendees at the grand opening of Wal-Mart's high-efficiency Las Vegas supercenter in March were representatives of a new organization, the Retailer Energy Alliance.
The REA was formed in February by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of three Commercial Building Energy Alliances that aim to improve the energy performance of commercial buildings. So far a number of high-profile retailers have joined the REA, including Wal-Mart, Food Lion, Whole Foods Market, Target, McDonald's, Home Depot, Staples and Best Buy.
At the REA's inaugural meeting in February at the National Building Museum here, the group announced its goal to become “a national forum for retail building owners and operators, in which best practices in energy efficiency are continually documented and publicized, DOE research and knowledge of emerging technologies can be offered, and peers can share practical experience and insights.”
The REA held its second meeting in May in an effort to form partnerships with technology suppliers. It has also established subcommittees in the following areas: lighting and electrical; restaurant and food preparation; refrigeration; HVAC; and whole building systems.
The group seeks additional retail members. More information is available at www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/retailer.