Specialty bedding retailer Mattress Firm has reduced its utility costs by more than $1 million by using an automated energy management system to control its HVAC and lighting.
The Houston-based chain first installed the technology, Lightstat Energy Management System (from Lightstat, Pleasant Valley, Conn.) in 2009, in a 51-store pilot in three markets: Houston, San Antonio and Cincinnati. The system, fully programmable from a centralized Web server, allows corporate facilities to control multiple locations across a large geographic region. Such control can help retailers better manage rising utility costs.
“When lighting and HVAC are controlled locally at the facility level, we have no control to affect those (utility) costs,” explained Sammy Butera national manager construction & facilities, Mattress Firm, which has 700 locations nationwide. “The HVAC systems, for example, were frequently left turned down as low as the thermostat would allow even after the sales associate left in the evening. We decided to control as many functions as we could with an affordable system that could afford us a 12-month payback.”
Mattress Firm tested the Lightstat system for one month, using it to control heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), interior lighting and exterior signage. It subsequently compared the test stores’ utility bills against their bills in the year-ago period. The savings were significant enough for the retailer to move forward.
As to why Mattress Firm selected the Lightstat system, Butera said the chain was confident that it would provide the most control with the most cost-efficient installation. Although the system works through software licensed by Lightstat, it is housed on Mattress Firm’s own server.
The system’s ease of use was another factor.
“We recognized that the Lightstat team were the right partners to move forward with, and we’ve been extremely happy with the service and knowledge they have afforded us,” Butera added.