A small to large business success story continues with lighting technology that makes sense.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Aug 30, 2012
GE LED Cooler Lighting in but one display cooler at just one of Wawa’s many stores along the eastern seaboard.
Wawa is a privately held “209
” year old company that began as an iron foundry in New Jersey in 1803. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA, in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and the companies “certified” process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa operates more than 580 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.
Refrigeration Display Lighting
When Wawa was searching for visually appealing, simple-to-install vertical refrigerated display lighting; it discovered the answer in GE’s latest Immersion RV30 LED. After installation throughout the entire chains retail outlets, the company is now experiencing energy and
maintenance savings in excess of $1 million a year!
In 2006, Wawa was experiencing utility budget increases of between 12 and 15 percent annually over the previous five years. To counteract the rise, the company created an energy hit team that discovered lighting accounted for 30 percent of electric consumption. To significantly reduce our energy consumption, the company began installing energy efficient LED refrigerated display lighting and the rest is shall we say, history?
According to GE, Wawa evaluated three competitive LED solutions in refrigerated coolers in several of its stores beginning in 2008. One product it tested was a puck-style system that did not fully illuminate across cooler doors, producing light bands on the food packages inside. A second LED option it tested, a light bar design, experienced a 30 percent failure rate
! Both products also required a lengthy installation process.
Offering significant energy savings, high-quality uniform light, a long reliable service life and faster installation, GE’s Immersion RV30 LED emerged as the clear winner following Wawa’s energy and lighting assessment.
GE’s Lighting distributor Facility Solutions Group (FSG) helped Wawa install 4000K Immersion LED lighting in refrigerated cooler and freezer cases in its remaining locations. In total, that included over 10,000 doors in 2010 and 2011 alone. GE’s 34W 70-inch LED light fixtures replaced 82W fluorescent T8 lamps including ballasts in 12 to 14 cooler doors per store, while 29W 60-inch LED fixtures were used in Wawa’s two-, three- or four-door freezers. Wawa measured the actual wattage for the LEDs at an even lower 33W and 27 W respectively.
With the Immersion RV30 LEDs, Wawa’s maintenance crews could disconnect the existing fluorescent ballast, install an LED driver and attach the light bars to the wiring that was already in the cases allowing a two to four man team to relamp an entire store in under four hours and two stores a night in most cases. It would have taken twice that time to install competing LED systems.
According to Wawa:
“Run times on our cooler compressor units have been reduced by two cycles per day per store. We had also anticipated two fewer service calls for cooler boxes at each store each year, when in fact, we’ve averaged four fewer calls. What’s most important is that when customers walk in there are no bulbs burnt out in the refrigerated cases. That consistent well-lit image is giving us better brand quality throughout our chain.”
With the new systems in place, Wawa has reduced refrigerated cooler/freezer electricity and maintenance expense by a combined 78 percent
since its adoption of GE’s Immersion LED refrigerated display lighting. Annual cost savings per store average $2,000—equating to $1.2 million USD
across Wawa’s entire 600-store chain. The LED relamping payback is projected to occur after just 26 to 28 months.
Wawa further maximized its energy savings by applying and qualifying for energy-efficient lighting program and utility rebates in Pennsylvania and Delaware, with an additional rebate pending in New Jersey.
This is a small to large business success story that continues to grow even in these challenging times in part to an energy efficient lighting solution probably where it was needed most. That being the retail cooler/freezer units.
If you have happened to walk into a Wawa store in the past year, can you provide a firsthand assessment?