Goal 4

Use net zero energy, create zero waste, and promote responsible packaging: We will dramatically reduce energy use and install commercial solar, take responsibility that all of our packaging can be reused or recycled, and keep our waste out of the landfill.

The path to net zero electrical use: Carrboro store saves 50% on electricity following remodel

Reducing electrical use is the first step in getting to net-zero energy. Electrical use in the Carrboro store is down 50% following the remodel and is now as low as Southern Village which is half the size. Electrical savings came from more efficient equipment, LED lighting, and putting doors on refrigerated cases. Even more savings will come when we install a new dehumidification and HVAC system. Based on the success in Carrboro, we are ready to start implementing similar energy savings strategies in the other stores in the coming year.

SOLARpanelsRooftop solar can generate part of our electricity needs

Rooftop solar can meet one-third of our post-conservation electrical needs in Carrboro. Now is a good time to install solar because state tax credits expire this year and federal tax credits expire next year. Our improved financial position makes it feasible to consider investing in solar. We need to first extend our leases or purchase our locations, so that we can take advantage of the 30-year lifespan of solar panels.

NC Green Power can close the remaining gap

NCPowerNC GreenPower can supply the remaining two-thirds of our post-conservation electrical needs. NC GreenPower is a nonprofit program that uses voluntary contributions to subsidize small renewable energy projects in North Carolina. For the last 10 years, WSM has been contributing $312/month to NC Green Power. We would need to quadruple this contribution along with installing solar to achieve net-zero electrical use in Carrboro.