Reducing the energy cost of potato storage: benchmarking the performance of commercial stores


The work was commissioned on the basis that one of the key first steps to reducing storage energy consumption is to monitor comparative energy use and then to use this information to target potential energy savings. The work sought to:

  • demonstrate the application of energy data collection and analysis
  • develop an information resource and establish benchmarks for storage energy use
  • assess the impact of energy management strategies on usage quantify the primary carbon footprint for storage energy use.

The project covered three years, from 2007/8 to 2009/10, with the following programme

  • Year 1 - Monitoring a small number of stores (eight in total) intensively and setting up procedures for handling data and reporting information to store managers.
  • Year 2 - Extending the study to encompass a further 28 stores.
  • Year 3 - Continuing the studies carried out in Year 2. 

Key Findings

The project illustrated the benefit of simple storage energy monitoring and that, by using inexpensive electricity meters and temperature data from store control equipment or a retrofit monitor, comparative data on electricity consumption could be accurately recorded and compared. The 38 stores monitored for the project provided a representative cross-section of British store stock at the time and the monitored energy results from these showed that there was as much as a three-fold difference in energy consumption between the highest and the lowest users. 
The final report includes case studies summarising the comparative performance of different stores
Project code:
01 October 2007 - 30 September 2010
Project leader:
Adrian Cunnington


R401 Final Report_2010

About this project

To increase awareness of energy costs and identify options for energy savings.