Lighting Up Georgia Convenience Stores
April 4, 2012
Convenience stores across Georgia are saving energy thanks to energy efficient lighting upgrades made possible by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from DOE's State Energy Program and the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. As a result of this partnership, the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores (GACS) implemented lighting efficiency improvements to participating convenience stores across the state, the first of which has already saved over $7,000 in the first year after the retrofits, along with over 54,000 kilowatt-hours (KWh), approximately the amount of energy used by five American homes over a year.
GACS received a grant to implement lighting efficiency improvements that have a quick payback period and to establish a revolving loan fund that will finance projects in the future. Participating stores completed the upgrades with no up-front costs, allowing storeowners to pay back into the fund the estimated savings that occur over the 18-month period following installation. Already, more than 30 convenience stores have improved their lighting, including interior lighting, cooler (or refrigerator) door lighting, and outdoor canopy lighting.
The retrofit fund promotes energy efficiency steps with quick payback periods. Initially, installers found that canopy lights were commonly used across the stores and were the most difficult to get a quick payback. A canopy light improvement was first tried at a convenience mart in Savannah. The solution for this location, which already contained 50 canopy lights (more than needed for the area), was to reduce the amount of lamps to 38—reducing electricity consumption by approximately two thirds. Read the complete story on DOE's Energy Blog.