SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion here reduced energy usage in 20 stores by 8% over a one-month period by emphasizing energy-saving practices to deli employees.
“Your employees can really make a difference if they turn on all of the deli equipment at one time; it causes peak demand,” said Susan Sollenberger, Food Lion's director of equipment purchasing, maintenance and energy. “So we try to educate them so they don't cause utility bills to be higher than they need to be.”
The energy-saving tips — such as knowing which deli equipment to turn off after each use and which to leave on but turned to low — were communicated to employees on “scratch-off” cards. The cards contained questions on equipment usage and asked employees to scratch off the correct answer. A different card was distributed weekly for three weeks last October.
Employees could enter completed cards in a contest with prizes ranging from tote bags to TVs and portable DVD players. Deli managers were awarded the same grand prize won by any of their employees. The program elicited 250 responses. “We got real good feedback from some deli managers,” said Gina Rye, Food Lion's energy manager. “They had no idea they could control utility bills at the store.”