Focus on: Lighting

Brookshire Brothers’ upgrade cuts energy use and rings up operating savings

Brookshire Brothers has launched a comprehensive lighting update involving in-store, parking lot, exterior signage and refrigerated case fixtures.

Using a combination of new linear fluorescent lighting and LED technologies — from GE Lighting, East Cleveland, Ohio — Brookshire Brothers will reduce its annual operating costs more than $235,000. The relamping has eliminated more than 3.8 million lbs. of CO2 emissions, with a reduction of 2.4 million kilowatt hours (kWhs) in electricity use.

“When we looked at options to impact our total energy costs, we identified several areas at different stores where new lighting, including LED fixtures, made a compelling case, both indoors and out,” said Eric Johnson, director of construction, Brookshire Brothers, Lufkin, Texas, which operates 72 supermarkets in Texas and Louisiana.

The fluorescent lighting retrofit, now completed chainwide, involved replacing 32-watt bulbs in approximately 450 four-lamp fixtures with GE’s more energy-efficient 28-watt T8 lamps. Existing ballasts were replaced with GE’s high-efficiency UltraMax electronic ballasts as needed. Each ballast installed will create additional energy savings of approximately eight watts per fixture.

The supermarket operator will save an average $3,200 per store annually in electricity expense with its new 28-watt solution, which represents a more than $220,000 annual cost benefit based on a $.09 kWh electricity rate and 12 hours use per day.

Brookshire Brothers is also utilizing LED technology. The chain replaced the fluorescent lighting in refrigerated display cases in four locations with GE’s Immersion RV40 LED lighting, designed to eliminate light-source glare and wasteful light spill typical of fluorescent-equipped displays. The LEDs will deliver a 60% energy reduction and are rated for 50,000-hours life, four times longer than the fluorescents they replaced.

“Our electrical contractor told me, ‘You wouldn’t believe how much of the work we do for you is to repair fluorescent door lighting.’ ” Johnson said. “In the stores that have been converted, everything is lit 100% of the time. That adds up to sales right there.”

Johnson plans to specify the LED lighting in upcoming conversions of additional stores.

Additionally, wine displays in two stores have been lit with GE’s LED Replacement Lamps, which work well in applications in which a narrow, focused beam spread is preferred. Forty-five 75-watt halogen lamps (940 lumens) in each store were changed to long-life GE 10-watt PAR30 LED floodlights (500 lumens). Previously, Brookshire had replaced an average 50 halogen bulbs per location each year. Now, the company will count $3,200 in combined annual energy and maintenance savings.

To date, five of the company’s parking lots have been retrofitted with GE Evolve LED Area Lights. The new 210-watt lights replaced the existing 400-watt high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures in two lots. In the other two, 1,000-watt HIDs were replaced by 270-watt Area Lights.

As a result of the watts-per-fixture reduction, Brookshire Brothers will save more than $14,000 annually in electricity costs and will also profit from reduced-maintenance time-related expenses. More parking lot retrofits are in the offing.

Store managers are impressed with the lighting upgrade, Johnson said.

“The parking lots shine, the signage is crisper, and the colors of the products show much better,” he said. “There have only been very positive comments. In each case where new LED lighting was specified, it was easy to support that decision financially through decreased energy consumption, reduced maintenance, increased dependability and extended lamp life.”

mwilson@chainstoreage.com

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