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The Retail Sector’s White Knight: Energy Efficient Lighting

Posted for AESP

If teenagers today would look up from their phones long enough, they’d realize they are witnessing the demise of a bedrock of our economy and our lives: stores.

But experts at the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) recent national conference in New Orleans learned of ways that retail stores can improve their fate by becoming more energy efficient.

“Wireless lighting controls will come to revolutionize the retail segment by enhancing the customer experience while lowering (operating expenses),” said Wesley Whited, DNV GL’s Senior Consultant, Advanced Lighting & Controls. 

“To remain competitive in a time of increased competition from non-traditional retailers, brick and mortar retailers will look to emerging technologies to enhance their customer experience. Lighting that adds value beyond illumination is a logical first step for most retailers. They are savvy to the ways lighting design can tell unique stories. Additionally, lighting represents a large load, which can be (reduced).”

Whited presented a case study in which a retail chain took advantage of an advanced lighting control incentive to retrofit and connect four small retail spaces to the cloud via wireless lighting controls. The table below shows the aggregated, averaged data from all four locations.

The real-world case study highlights how the utility incentive lowered the aggregated average retail stores payback by one quarter, Whited said.

“Forward looking utilities should leverage best practices in program design to build niche lighting programs for the advanced lighting market.”

Project Review: Energy Savings

  • Store size in Sq./Ft. – 6,167
  • Annual Metered kWh – 88,666
  • Sum of kWh reduction – 31,346
  • Percentage kWh reduced – 35.29%
  • Peak metered kW – 25
  • Sum of kW reduction – 6.96
  • Percentage peak kW reduction – 30.67%

Project Review: Economics

  • Total cost of retrofit - $19,095.46
  • Utility incentive - $4,197.30
  • Total yearly energy savings: $3,736.39
  • Payback w/out incentive: 6.42 years
  • Payback w/ utility incentive: 3.99 years


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