Big-Box Efficiency Project


The Big-Box Efficiency Project is evaluating the impacts of installing an integrated suite of precommercial energy efficiency technologies on utility costs, human comfort, operational efficiency, water consumption and maintenance costs.

The goal is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technologies to achieve at least a 20% reduction in electricity consumption, thus creating a blueprint for big-box retail stores across California with similar end‐use and system characteristics.

With funding from the California Energy Commission, this multiyear project is a partnership between Walmart, Center for Sustainable Energy, Southern California Edison and other key participants. The test site is a Walmart Supercenter in the City of Covina, located about 20 miles east of Los Angeles within an area identified by the state as having disadvantaged communities.

This project is part of efforts to reduce energy use in large retail and commercial buildings and develop ways to help create a more stable electrical grid and meet the state’s carbon emission reduction goals.

“The Center for Sustainable Energy has collaborated with Walmart every step of the way in a demonstration project to help validate the savings potential of pre-commercial energy efficiency technologies. We value CSE’s deep expertise and experience in guiding the project and identifying key lessons that can be applied to similar projects as we work toward a zero-emissions future,” Bob Stone, Sr. Manager, Renewable Power & Energy Efficiency, Walmart Energy


Program at a Glance

Program Goals

Demonstrate the effectiveness of precommercial energy efficiency technologies to achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in electricity consumption.

CSE's Role

Prime contractor/project management
Site characterization
Measurement & verification
Technology knowledge transfer


Distributed Energy Resources
Energy Efficiency

Key Partners

Walmart, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TRC Energy Services, P2S Engineering Inc., Southern California Edison, Davenergy Solutions, Emily Grene, Locbit, i2 Systems, Turntide by Software Motor Company, Integrated Comfort Inc. and SAYA.

State Policies Supported

California Senate Bill 350
CPUC proceedings: demand response, energy efficiency and integrated distributed energy resources

Impact Statement

Potential to lower big-box retail store energy consumption and costs, improve food safety, increase grid reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions