The Source Case Study

See how The Source cut energy costs by 18% with an energy management solution from Bell.

The need

Like many other companies, The Source was challenged to improve both operational efficiencies and customer experience. With rising utility rates and hundreds of locations across Canada, they experienced significant increases in utility costs over the past few years. Finding an IoT solution that could help them save on energy costs became a priority.

There are many challenges facing the retail industry today; the success of the digital marketplace, rising customer expectations, increased costs, and shifts in customer behaviour. As a result, businesses are looking for ways to run their operations more efficiently so they can compete and invest in areas that provide the greatest business value.

The Source needed a solution that would provide real-time control and insight into energy usage in order to maximize savings. Plus, it had to be scalable, allowing multiple locations to be controlled remotely. Lastly, it needed to be installed with minimal disruption to customers and staff.

The solution

Bell recommended an energy management solution (EMS) specifically designed for retail. The solution is a comprehensive cloud-based suite of hardware, software and services. It provides a single point of control to monitor and manage energy-consuming assets – such as HVAC and lighting systems – across thousands of sites, ensuring operational consistency and predictable energy spend.

The pilot

Knowing the potential for savings that can be realized through better management of HVAC systems, The Source opted to run a three-month pilot at two locations that monitored and managed their HVAC. The installation of the solution was very simple and required no downtime for the stores or staff.


  1. IoT sensors are installed throughout the HVAC systems, and existing thermostats are replaced with enterprise-grade smart thermostats.’
  2. The sensors collect data on things like temperature and environmental conditions and send it to the cloud-based management platform in real-time via Bell’s secure LTE network.
  3. The platform uses advanced analytics to determine optimal settings and proactively identify issues. Analytics also enables tools like smart alarms, building control, facility diagnostics, and project tracking.
The Source started realizing the benefits of the solution immediately. The cloud platform provided a single point of control to monitor and manage HVAC systems in all stores. Pre-defined and pre-scheduled store temperatures ensured a consistently comfortable environment for customers and staff. Analytics monitored for anomalies in HVAC performance, and triggered notifications if issues were detected. The Source could then schedule proactive maintenance to help avoid costly future repairs or uncomfortable outages, if necessary. Being able to do all of this and more from one centralized platform simplified operations and helped keep track of historical data to better plan for the future.

The results

The pilot was very successful. It only took one month for The Source to see a return on investment, and within three months energy costs were reduced by 18%. But energy savings were just one of the overall benefits. The combination of granular data collection, advanced analytics and intelligent controls enabled continuously improving energy savings, increased facility efficiency and enabled more informed capital planning. Plus, with automated temperature control, there is one less thing for busy store managers to worry about.

18% reduction in energy costs

ROI achieved in 1 month

0 downtime for installation

About The Source

A subsidiary of Bell, The Source is Canada’s largest tech retailer, with over 400 locations nationwide offering the latest in consumer electronics from today’s top brands. Associates pride themselves on providing personalized tech advice and exceptional customer service.