Highland Park Market

Highland Park Market (Highland) is a family owned and operated chain of grocery stores serving communities in Central Connecticut. 


To seek a provider who could, at minimal initial cost, reduce Highland’s carbon footprint and operational costs while enhancing lighting quality of four grocery stores.


To modernize and upgrade
lighting, achieve sustainability objectives and improve operational efficiency while minimizing day-to-day business disruption—with no cash outlay 

With a limited budget and no personnel dedicated to energy management, Highland looked to Energy EDC’s engineering partner, NorthWrite, a leading “smart“ building solution company specializing in the delivery of energy and facility solutions to small and medium enterprises. NorthWrite designed a turnkey retrofit–requiring minimal installation disruption–with sensors and controls wired during business hours and fixtures replaced overnight.

The project consists of:

  • The AgileVolt TM system to aggregate energy consumption data, reveal usage patterns and minimize fuel consumption.
  • Sensors to monitor equipment and room temperatures. Freezer and cooler sensors send alerts when temperatures rise, thereby protecting food from spoiling, sparing inventory, and eliminating replacement costs. Room sensors automatically switch off lights and adjust temperature in unoccupied rooms, reducing energy consumption
  • Replacing fluorescent lights with energy-efficient, cost-effective, color- adjustable, dimmable light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Adjustable LED settings allow Highland to display different sections of the stores to their best effect, drawing in customers and increasing sales; for example, lighting is warmer and more intimate in the wine department while cooler and brighter in the meat section.
  • Advanced controllers to optimize the operation of rooftop units (RTUs) to vary the speed of the fan and compressor, providing improved humidity control, reduced energy use, and extended equipment life.
  • A building management system or central “brain” that monitors and controls equipment, and adjusts schedules and temperatures through wireless and cellular networks.


Financed through guaranteed energy performance, Highland chose to increase operational efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint, and improve the in-store experience without disturbing day-to-day business activity 

The full project cost is being financed by Energy EDC’s finance partner, Joule Assets. The out-of-pocket costs of the lighting and operational improvements would have been prohibitively expensive, but Joule identified value streams that can contribute to project economics. For example, Joule aggregates the energy needs of multiple customers, enabling them to become eligible for Demand Response (DR) programs. By agreeing to reduce energy consumption during periods of heavy demand on the utility, energy users receive DR payments for each reduction. Joule’s performance-based financing ensures its interests are aligned with Highland’s. 

Alyssa Varner