Case Study: Warehouse Lighting Upgrades

InvestSmart with JEA provides incentives for JEA’s business customers who purchase and install eligible high-efficiency energy conservation measures. Whether you’re installing a new lighting system, or upgrading your heating, cooling and air handling equipment, InvestSmart with JEA has a variety of incentives available. 

Saving 65,752 kWh per Year on Energy

Gardner has been supplying the Jacksonville community with lawn and garden parts for 15 years. In addition to their Jacksonville facility which employs 23 people, Gardner has distribution centers in Ohio and Massachusetts and is one of the largest lawn and garden product distributors in the entire country. Todd Geyer, Operations Manager for the Gardner Florida Division, realized that his biggest energy expense went towards lighting the 65,000-square-foot warehouse where overhead lights need to run frequently: 23 hours per day for four days of the week, and for 12 hours per day on one day of the week, to accommodate the busy distribution facility.

In addition to saving money on energy bills, Geyer wanted to improve the lighting quality as areas of the facility were dark and poorly lit. Before the upgrades, all of the overhead lights in the facility had to run to provide illumination for only two employees during the evening shift, wasting energy and money. The metal halide lights also generated excess heat in the warehouse causing them to run air conditioning to compensate. During the evening shifts, the staff had to wait fifteen minutes for the metal halide lights to brighten to enable them to commence working. When the lights did turn on, the staff still often had challenges quickly reading the small parts numbers, which is an issue for a company that prides itself on providing prompt and comprehensive service to its customers.

Geyer became interested in high bay lights with motion sensors as a possible solution to his problems, and consulted with six area contractors to discuss his options. He selected Coastal Electric because they demonstrated the most knowledge of the InvestSmart with JEA rebate program. Coastal Electric teamed with lighting vendor Architectural Sales and Illumination, Inc. who also brought a solid understanding of the InvestSmart with JEA rebate program, having previously worked on a upgrade project that received a rebate. The contractors assembled the application documents for Todd and helped walk him through the rebate process with “no hiccups.”

To complete the lighting upgrades, Coastal Electric visited the Gardner facility and developed a proposal based on the existing lighting. Coastal Electric and Architectural Sales and Illumination “did exactly what was needed,” and collaborated with Geyer to determine which lights should be installed and where to locate them. They completed the installation within five days and worked around operational hours so that they didn’t impede business. Of the upgrade process Geyer notes, “We don’t see any downsides. The contractors were unobtrusive and by the morning shift everything was working.”

Coastal Electric removed 400-watt metal halide fixtures and replaced them with T5 fixtures in the high bay warehouse. They also replaced inefficient T12 fixtures with T8 fixtures and installed fixture mounted sensors throughout the high bay warehouse.

Project Gardner of Florida
Customer Todd Geyer
Installation Contractor Coastal Electric
Measures Lighting Upgrades
Annual Energy Savings 65,752 kWh/year
Project Implementation Cost $47,512 after $7,227 rebate from JEA
Simple Payback 4 years

The Results

Overall, Gardner employees are enjoying higher quality lighting and Geyer is seeing savings on his energy bills. “It’s been really financially beneficial for us,” says Geyer. He expects an overall increase in accuracy and productivity because of the upgrades. The small parts numbers are better illuminated for employees to see, and they don’t have to wait for lights to reach full brightness. Additionally, lights are activated only where needed, rather than in the entire space during extended operating hours. Geyer also expects less maintenance costs over time due to the longer life of the upgraded bulbs. “We will be getting money back quickly, and are extremely satisfied at this point.”

Helping Businesses Save

Lighting accounts for the single largest portion of the electric bills for businesses, which means that lighting can be a big contributor to energy costs. Installing energy efficient lighting is one of the best things a business owner can do to cut electric bills. Energy efficient lighting reduces not only energy consumption – it also improves the business owner’s bottom line.

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