By Dave Magill, Vice President of Program Management
How to reduce lighting energy and maintenance cost without retrofitting to LED
Although the cost of LED lighting has dropped over the last few years, it can still prove to be a costly investment. With lease requirements, location closings and lack of capital expense funding, an LED retrofit may not be a practical option for your facilities. The good news is that you can still reduce energy and maintenance costs without incurring the expense of retrofitting to LED lighting.
Let’s begin by discussing the option of retrofitting T12 lamps to T8 fluorescent lamps. If you haven’t completed this retrofit yet, it is a great way to reduce both energy consumption and maintenance costs. As most of us are aware, governmental regulations have made the T12 fluorescent lamp obsolete, and they are no longer being manufactured. This change will likely lead to increased replacement with the more efficient T8 linear fluorescent tubes. While this option will, in fact, deliver savings, it does not come without challenges as the ballast used for T-12 lamps are not compatible with the T8 tubes so the ballast must also be replaced in this process. Since both the ballast and the lamps are being replaced, the time and money spent maintaining the fixture will decrease significantly over the next 3 to 4 years.
As far as energy savings are concerned, by replacing a T12 four lamp fixture with a like T8 28- watt version you can anticipate an energy reduction of over 40%. Compare that to the more than 50% savings from the 25-watt T8 lamp and the numbers speak for themselves. The 28-watt version has comparable lumen output to the T12 and the 25-watt lamp’s lumen reduction is minimal. This is a relatively low-cost retrofit with incentive rebate funds available to offset your investment. Once completed, lamp and ballast replacement can be handled under warranty for premature failures, further reducing maintenance costs and concerns.
If you already have T8 lamps installed at your locations and still find yourself replacing lamps and ballasts as needed, you may want to consider group re-lamping. Group re-lamping is a process in which every lamp at your locations is replaced simultaneously to assure adequate lighting and reduce maintenance costs. By replacing existing lamps with a lower wattage option, you can increase energy savings while still maintaining adequate light levels. Because most fluorescent lamps have a rated life of more than 29,000 hours, these lamps can last up to 4 years without having to be replaced. Relamping every 4 years gives you the ability to anticipate and budget accordingly. Since all lamps are being replaced at once, you can set the install date with the manufacturer to insure warranty term, allowing you to replace lamps under warranty and reduce material costs for failed lamps.
If you are replacing incandescent lighting, compact fluorescent lamps are still a viable and cost-effective option. Compact fluorescent lamps are available to replace most incandescent lamp applications and have long lamp rated life. You can source them in warm white and cool white color. Achieving energy reduction of up to 75% can make this a very appealing and cost-effective replacement option.
It’s no secret that the best way to save energy when it comes to lighting is to simply turn them off when not in use. For this reason, there is a wide range of lighting control options available to meet all of your interior and exterior needs.
Motion sensors are the most basic lighting control option available. They can replace a light switch or be mounted in a variety of locations, including offices, bathrooms, stock rooms and other areas where lighting is only needed when someone is in the area. Motion sensors are extremely cost-effective and many electric companies offer attractive incentive rebates for their installation and operation.
Another popular lighting control option is daylighting. Daylighting takes advantage of natural light during the daytime hours to illuminate interior spaces. This system allows electric lighting to be entirely or partially turned off during this time. Daylighting works best in facilities with existing skylights or large window applications. These systems are often more expensive than basic controls, but can be integrated into remodels or new builds.
When it comes to exterior lighting controls, photocells and time clocks are among the most basic and most popular options on the market. These options allow you to set on and off times for exterior fixtures, reducing costly maintenance calls and increasing energy savings.
While LED retrofits may be the most prevalent method to improve energy efficiencies, the costs associated with LED may not make that a viable option.
The solutions outlined within this article are just a few of many ways you can create efficiency within your lighting system. In order to maximize your energy savings and reduce your maintenance costs, we suggest consulting with a lighting services company. A company with lighting expertise can perform a location survey and lighting audit to best identify what solutions would best align with your goals and budgets.
Published in RETAIL & RESTAURANT FACILITY BUSINESS – DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 n © 2016 France Media, Inc.
By Alex Dworkin, Senior Project Manager – Capital Projects
A recent project my firm was involved in illustrated that, with some creativity and a little extra effort, sustainable solutions can not only be achieved, but can also deliver savings.
One of our large national retail partners approached us with a challenging, yet simple project: Adjust the shelving layout throughout their entire portfolio, which consisted of over 8,000 locations. The goal was to remove specific sets of shelving components to allow for clearer lines of visibility to all areas of the store. Any project of this magnitude naturally comes with its usual challenges, including coordination with the local store managers, varying shelving layouts, and an aggressive timeline to complete the projects were all factored in. But this one took the concept of “complexity” one step further by adding an element of sustainability.
The story behind the project was very clear: The retailer’s stores were receiving less bulky merchandise, so there wasn’t any need for the extra shelving, which often obstructs sight lines on the sales floor. The scope of the project was simple: remove and dispose of the shelving units. Expectations were set high and included minimal impact to store operations, heavy communication, coordination and validation at the store level and individual billing per store. The budget was tight, and our client asked us to be creative in ensuring that all stores be completed within the fiscal year. Internally we identified this project as an opportunity to promote a sustainable solution through an aggressive recycling program.
In order to execute a recycling project of any size there must be a well-conceived plan, one that is communicated to the client and, most importantly, followed closely throughout the project. Our first step was to notify the client of our desire to recycle the metal shelving since we needed their cooperation and permission to use on-site storage space.
Our next step was to engage numerous local and national waste disposal organizations to best understand the most efficient options available for collecting and transporting the waste products to recycling facilities. By strategically locating recycling dumpsters at key locations within the retailer’s portfolio, we were able to centralize collection and easily coordinate pick up and removal. Internally, we recognized that managing the recycling program was a job in itself and tasked some members of the project team with solely focusing on managing this aspect of the job.
Having trusted vendor partners throughout the country enabled our operations team to source thousands of sites to those we knew had the capability and understanding of how to complete a project of this magnitude and within our time frame. Each vendor received a store list, a link to the instructional video and specific instruction on the recycling component.
Our team was split into three different groups: project execution, recycling and invoicing. The execution team was responsible for assigning and educating vendors, as well as coordinating with store managers. The recycling team held vendors accountable for delivering the waste materials to the appropriate collection points, to ensure coordination with our waste recycling partners, as well as tracking the financial returns from the process. In the end our invoicing team closed the loop by invoicing each location per customer-set criteria.
Watching any plan come together and delivering on a promise to the client is what this business is all about. But the sustainability factor meant adding a little more to both the client and us. Keeping 100% of the shelving, support posts and insert pins from landfills delivered a truly sustainable solution. By using local recycling locations throughout the country, we were able to help our client in their efforts to be continuously green. We also reduced the overall project cost by 15%, converting what may have been a disposal fee into a financial rebate.
Published in CHAIN STORE AGE – JUNE 2015
Sustainable Solutions Can Also Deliver Savings