Lucid Software in Starbucks Energy Trial

by | Aug 7, 2012

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Ten Starbucks coffee shops are to use cleantech software company Lucid’s real-time Building Dashboard in an attempt to change employee energy use behavior.

Developed in conjunction with the Snohomish County Public Utility District and Portland Energy Conservation Inc., the pilot project will be hosted by the coffee in Snohomish County, Wash., and will serve to test and document measurable energy savings in retail locations, Lucid says.

The pilot program, which will run for at least a year, encourages Starbucks employees to identify conservation strategies that will reduce the amount of energy required to run their stores while not impacting customer service. The pilot project, funded in part by a grant from the Bonneville Power Administration, will evaluate energy savings derived by providing energy use data to employees, coupled with “friendly” 30-day competition among stores, Lucid says.

In September, 2011, BPA issued a funding opportunity for behavior-based efficiency pilot programs because of significant energy savings potential from behavior change, calling the potential “too significant to ignore.”

Lucid hopes that the measurement and verification process developed with Building Dashboard (screen shot, pictured) during this pilot will demonstrate that behavior change can provide “significant and persistent” energy savings in buildings. In the future the company is hoping to see other utilities implement behavior-based energy efficiency programs.

Starbucks is aiming to cut energy consumption at company owned stores by 25 percent by 2015 when compared to 2008 levels. By 2011 the company was halfway toward that goal, according to its 2011 sustainability report.

In July, the company launched EarthSleeve, a compostable hot-cup sleeve that the coffee company says decreases raw fiber material use by 34 percent and increases post-consumer content by 25 percent, compared to similar products. In addition to decreasing hot-cup sleeves’ raw material makeup with a total usage of 85 percent post-consumer fiber content, Starbucks says the EarthSleeve also improves case cube and truckload yield by 15 percent compared to traditional sleeves, reducing the overall environmental impact of transporting the product.

In June, the coffee shop pledged to upgrade the efficiency of many of its locations as it joined the White House’s Better Buildings Challenge. The Challenge has a goal of cutting building energy use by at least 20 percent by 2020.

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