Ports to Plains Travel Plaza has completed an energy efficient LED lighting upgrade to their entire facility that cuts lighting energy use by 50 to 75%. This was accomplished by upgrading to the latest LED (light emitting diode) lighting for indoor store ceiling lighting, gas station canopy lights, and outdoor parking lot lights.
For example, in the gas station canopy area, metal halide lamps that use over 350 watts of power each were replaced with LED lights that use only 80 watts each. The changes to the property are projected to save over $850,000 in energy and maintenance costs and reduce CO2 emissions by over five million pounds from reduced power plant emissions over the 11-plus year life expectancy of the LED lamps, the company said.
Ports to Plains estimates that its return on investment for the purchase of the LED upgrade is over 89% per year. The retrofit was completed in early 2015 – comparing 2012 (prior to starting the retrofit) to 2015 electric bills showed over $62,000 in electric savings per year. Maintenance savings are estimated at over $14,000 per year, for a total of $76,000 per year saved, according to the company. At an industry average of 8% profit, Ports to Plains would have to increase sales by over $950,000 per year to generate the increase to the bottom line that the lighting retrofit created, the company added.
The new lights not only use less energy, they provide higher quality lighting, and have a longer life span than the old light fixtures. The LED lamps have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, versus only 20,000 hours for the existing lamps. The color rendering index (CRI), or ability of people to see colors under the lights, is much higher for the LED, making it easier for Ports to Plains customers to see the areas illuminated, improving the customer shopping experience, safety and security.
Jim Miller, Owner of Ports to Plains, said: “I highly recommend converting to LED technology and taking advantage of this ‘low hanging fruit’ for facilities upgrade, operational improvement and financial gain. Waiting for prices to come down (which they have) is really letting savings get away on a monthly basis and not worth the delay. I have found that the new look is cleaner / brighter and has a safer feeling. Maintenance costs are drastically reduced and frees up staff for other duties. I found working with the Eco-$mart team a good experience as they worked hard to find the correct applications for the site and were diligent in communicating the changes and timelines with the installation crew. The best part is that the savings are enjoyed every month and for the long term.”