Posted on 10/04/2016

The Value of Enterprise Refrigerant Management for RetailersRefrigerant leaks are one of the highest maintenance expenses for retailers with refrigerant-containing systems.

In addition to the cost of compliance, leaked refrigerant needs to be replaced – which costs hundreds of thousands or more each year for a typical 100-store supermarket chain.

How can large chains control these costs when they manage hundreds or thousands of refrigerant-containing systems across their sites?

Due to the sheer volume of refrigerants, a proactive approach to refrigerant management can result in considerable cost savings. But it may be difficult to establish and maintain detailed refrigerant records or identify equipment problems, required maintenance, and replacement needs.

Enterprise Refrigerant Management (ERM) solutions can help small- and large-scale retailers better manage refrigerant leaks and the related environmental, regulatory, and economic costs.

ERM solutions track and document refrigerant gas usage across all your stores and help manage refrigerant events. One facilities manager can oversee thousands of refrigerant-containing systems using an ERM solution, which can offer:

  •     Refrigerant leak tracking by system
  •     Refrigerant gas inventory management
  •     EPA leak rate calculations
  •     U.S Clean Air Act Compliance

ERM Helps Improve Compliance and Lower Fines

EPA regulations govern refrigeration from small drinking fountains to large systems. ERM solutions offer you better insight into all your refrigerant usage.

An ERM solution can be configured to match the tracking and reporting requirements for all your locations, making it simpler and more effective to comply with EPA Section 608 refrigerant regulations.

If your refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are serviced by both in-house technicians and external service providers, ERM solutions help ensure they’re meeting all EPA recordkeeping rules.

ERM solutions help reduce refrigerant usage by enabling you to monitor refrigerant-related activities in real time and resolve issues before they become expensive problems. This monitoring is important since fines for non-compliance can be up to tens of thousands of dollars per day, per system.

ERM Increases Staff Efficiency

An ERM solution allows your retail chain to keep its environmental commitments while reducing time spent on paper processes and employee management.

Depending on the software you’re using to manage refrigerant data, it can be cumbersome to get information from technicians and upload it to a database. Sometimes it can take longer than the mandatory period to fix a problem.

With ERM solutions, technicians can enter data into the system via their mobile devices, saving staff time.

ERM solutions also make it easier to maintain up-to-date information on all your sites, systems, refrigerant types, and equipment registries. When information is current, it’s faster for technicians to enter events in the field.

You also save time making EPA calculations. Every time refrigerant is added to a system, technicians are required to record leakage by calculating how much refrigerant is in the system and how many days between fills. ERM solutions make this task much easier.

Some ERM solutions can be customized to provide specialized reports to specific managers in your organization, as well as send alerts when a system is approaching EPA limits. These reports and alerts not only save time but provide peace of mind.