John DeCicco bagging groceries with paper and reusable bags

Progressive Grocer Honors 25 Outstanding Independents

Smaller retailers thriving despite post-pandemic challenges

Lanning Taliaferro
CHAPPAQUA, NY — When the owners of DeCicco & Sons supermarkets were planning energy efficiency measures in four stores, they decided to go big with the help of Con Edison and advanced technology.

The DeCicco family took advantage of Con Edison’s Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program to make $1.57 million worth of upgrades in four stores, reducing electricity usage by 1.52 million kilowatt hours a year, Con Ed officials said in an announcement.

“We were optimistic about our investment from the beginning and the results have been excellent,” said John DeCicco Jr., the chief executive officer. “We’re saving energy and money and the lighting and temperature controls make our stores pleasant and comfortable for our customers.”

The stores got new lighting (LEDs) and other miscellaneous upgrades:

  • Three got new generating capacity so that they can make their own electricity.
  • All four stores switched from electric to gas for cooking.
  • All the stores added doors to the refrigerated cases.
  • Each store except for Harrison got a new Building Management System.

The new building management system prevents the air conditioning from going into a second stage of cooling on hot summer days when demand for power from Con Edison’s grid is soaring.

The generators on the roof produce enough power to run the store when the demand for electricity in New York City and Westchester County is high. By generating its own electricity at those times, DeCicco’s earns payments from Con Edison under the energy company’s smart usage (Demand Response) program.

Ovens that cook the prepared foods now run on natural gas, not electricity.

The Armonk and Pelham stores also use a refrigerant in their refrigeration systems that is naturally occurring in the atmosphere.

The upgrades at the Armonk, Pelham, Ardsley and Harrison stores are the environmental equivalent of taking 225 cars off the road or saving 120,000 gallons of gasoline annually, Con Ed said.

A $739,000 incentive from Con Edison, combined with the savings on energy costs, will allow the owners to recoup their investment in about 18 months. After that, the savings on monthly energy bills will be money they’ll be able to invest in products, workforce, marketing and other aspects of their business.

Environmentally-friendly, the grocery store chain is also involved in New Castle’s new plastic and paper bag ban and will sponsor 2,000 reusable bags when they open, in Millwood Dec. 30, a store that incorporates intelligent, energy-efficiency, clean and green renewable energy.

Its zero-ozone, state-of-the-art equipment systematically takes all of the wasted heat that’s generated from the refrigeration system and transfers it to reusable energy to power machines to chill water, and provide heat and hot water for the entire store. Simple, clean, reusable energy. cost efficient, and ultimately, less reliance on fossil fuels.