Case Study: Restaurant Lighting Upgrades

JEA offers a range of energy efficiency opportunities to help small businesses save energy and money. Through a free audit, JEA helps qualifying customers identify lighting system energy saving opportunities. Rebates of up to 75%* of the capital cost of upgrading to eligible high-efficiency lighting equipment are offered to eligible customers. 

Locally Owned Restaurant Saves on Lighting Costs

For more than 28 years, Chow Down Alley has been providing a family-friendly dining experience for Jacksonville residents. After just a few minutes, you quickly realize there are quite a number of regulars enjoying the food. And yes, owner and operator, Freddie Kazaleh really does know everyone’s name.

Kazaleh has often found that loyal customers provide sound advice. He first heard of the InvestSmart with JEA Small Business Energy Upgrades program from one of his customers, Kenn Mitchell of Electrical Contracting Technologies. While Mitchell was having lunch, he realized that Chow Down Alley was a perfect fit for the program. Mitchell, an InvestSmart participating contractor, was able to demonstrate that with the installation of new energy efficient lighting, Kazaleh would experience significant long-term savings. Mitchell also explained that the existing T12 fluorescent fixtures would no longer be manufactured as of 2012, eventually rendering the fixtures obsolete. Once he realized the savings he could achieve - along with the opportunity to upgrade the restaurant’s lighting for minimal cost - Kazaleah decided it was an offer he simply could not refuse.

The contractor replaced 24 obsolete four-lamp T12 fluorescent fixtures with new two-lamp T8 fixtures reducing their power consumption by more than 50% with no noticeable decrease in light level.

Upgrading lamps for any business is never an easy proposition. One of Kazaleh’s concerns was the ability to conduct business as usual. After all, his regulars were counting on him. InvestSmart representatives worked with Kazaleh to optimize the installation plans and the time frame, allowing the restaurant to maintain regular business hours. When asked if the installation process disrupted his business, he stated, “Kenn was very accommodating. He was willing to do the installation when the restaurant was closed. His team was very efficient, working quickly and doing a great job at cleaning up, which made the process much easier on myself and the restaurant staff."

Project Chow Down Alley
Customer Freddie Kazaleah
Installation Contractor Electrical Contracting Technologies
Measures Lighting Upgrades
Annual Energy Savings $1,049
Project Implementation Cost $205 after $1,845 rebate from JEA
Simple Payback 2 Months

The Results: $1,049 Per Year in Energy Savings

The lighting upgrades will result in a total estimated energy savings of 9,638 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. With an estimated annual energy cost savings of $1,049 in the first year, with the rebate he will recover his initial cost in about two months. Kazaleh also discovered an unexpected benefit when the new lighting was installed. As a small business owner, he often had to replace his own lighting elements and unfortunately, throughout the years, the restaurant lighting became a collection of mismatched bulbs. With the new, T8 fixtures, all of the lighting is now uniform and offers a consistent, bright and clean appearance for customers. “Customers noticed the difference right away and commented on how great the restaurant looked,” said Kazaleh. “It was certainly cheaper than remodeling.”

Kazaleh encourages other small business owners to participate in the InvestSmart with JEA Small Business Energy Upgrades program, citing the cost benefits associated with the installation of energy efficient lighting and the level of customer service offered. According to Kazaleh, “Nothing can replace the peace of mind I have now, knowing that my lighting is efficient. As an added benefit, the program rebates covered much of the cost. More importantly, I won’t have to run around town looking for a light bulb that is no longer manufactured. It is nice to cross that one off my list!”

Helping Small Businesses Save

Save money and conserve energy by installing the following high efficiency equipment:

  • High-performance T5/T8 systems 
  • Hardwired and permanent CFL fixtures
  • LED exit signs
  • Wall- and ceiling-mounted occupancy sensor

How Your Business Benefits  

  • Free energy audit of your facility’s lighting systems will identify savings opportunities
  • Discounted pricing covering up to 75% of installation cost for qualified lighting technologies
  • Reduce lighting energy costs by as much as 35%

Walk Through Audit 

Qualifying customers will receive a free walk-though audit of their facility’s lighting systems to identify energy-saving opportunities. This audit will provide recommendations for energy savings upgrades, and a cost proposal to perform the energy efficiency upgrade work. Energy audits can lead to:

  • Lower energy expenses
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased comfort of building occupants
  • Reduced impacts on the environment

For more information about commercial lighting solutions, please contact us:

*Rebate amount will be paid to the contractor to help offset the cost of installation. Rebates will not be paid directly to the customer.

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