Voice of the Customer

Pet Retail Brands delivers great pet parent experience with 850-store energy management upgrade from EnerAllies.

Colin McGinnis

“After a competitive trial, EnerAllies emerged as the clear choice for providing a consistently comfortable environment for our pet parents, animal-care experts, and pets, while reducing energy use, carbon footprint, responding to extreme weather events, and saving money.”

Colin McGinnis, Pet Retail Brands
VP of Procurement, Process Improvements and Facilities

New management team at Pet Retail Brands (PRB) wanted to accomplish five things

  • improve comfort for pet parents, our animal-care experts, and our pets;
  • ready North America’s third-largest pet-specialty retailer to adapt quickly to extreme weather risks; 
  • reduce its carbon footprint;
  • get control of HVAC maintenance costs; and
  • lower energy costs.

The tall order was accepted by Colin McGinnis, PRB’s vice president of procurement, process improvement and facilities.  After a rigorous study and a competitive trial for energy management solutions, he selected Silicon Valley innovator EnerAllies’ HVAC Management and Optimization solution, featuring its highly regarded Virtual Energy Manager (VEM) platform.

“Serving pet parents with a great selection of products and services, the best pricing, expert advice and an outstanding customer experience is why we exist.  Our strategic decision to implement the EnerAllies solution enables us to reduce our energy use, carbon footprint and costs, while protecting the comfort and safety of our pet parents, animal care experts, and pets. In short, EnerAllies helps us live our values and achieve our business goals,” McGinnis said.

EnerAllies beat the competition and passed Mother Nature’s test, too

“We evaluated a number of options, mounted a head-to-head trial and only EnerAllies was able to deliver a compelling combination of energy and predictive maintenance savings, comfort protection and the ability to help us quickly adapt to extreme weather events.”

“January 2019’s polar vortex challenged many stores within the PRB family. Making sure our pet parents, animal care experts and pets were comfortable and safe was our highest priority. The Extreme Weather Adaptability tools that EnerAllies provides, coupled with their proactive approach, enabled us to be responsive and timely in protecting our stores during this severe weather event.”

Chainwide deployment of EnerAllies for all 850 stores across the U.S. and Canada

PRB, which includes brands such as Pet Supermarkets and Pet Valu, has almost completed upgrading 850 company-owned stores in 23 states in the U.S. and nine Canadian provinces with VEM. The EnerAllies solution provides an integrated suite of software and services, leveraging the enterprise-scale Virtual Energy Manager (“VEM”) Internet-of-Things (IoT) software platform. VEM gives PRB management a user-friendly dashboard of real-time insights about its heating and air conditioning (HVAC) energy use, equipment performance and store comfort — down to individual thermostats and rooftop units (RTUs). With the EnerAllies’ VEM platform, a large retail chain like PRB gains immediate remote control of and visibility into its fleet of RTUs and thermostats from a single computer screen, tablet or smartphone.

“The financial value proposition was extremely compelling. Unlike legacy hardware-centric systems with multi-year payback timeframes, the software-centric platform from EnerAllies provides a rapid payback and the best ROI of any solution we evaluated,” McGinnis said. “HVAC represents one of the largest controllable costs we face — some 50-60 percent of our energy expenses overall – because of this, the EnerAllies business case was a no-brainer.”

A “no-brainer” business case plus carbon footprint reduction

“HVAC represents one of the largest controllable costs we face — some 50-60 percent of our energy expenses overall – because of this, the EnerAllies business case was a no-brainer.”

McGinnis estimates that when PRB’s energy makeover is complete and its company-owned stores have been outfitted with the EnerAllies energy management platform, the company will realize savings of more than 10 million kilowatt hours in its first year. That translates into the equivalent of taking nearly 2,000 cars off the road in North America.