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 percent. This was accomplished by upgrading to the latest LED 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 more than$850,000.00 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. Ports to Plains estimates that their 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 $62,000.00 in electric savings per year. Maintenance savings are estimated at over $14,000.00 per year, for a total of $76,000.00 per year saved. At an industry average of 8 percent profit, Ports to Plains would have to increase sales by more than $950,000.00 per year to generate the increase to the bottom line that the lighting retrofit created.
The new lights not only use less energy, they provide higher quality lighting, and have a longer life span than the old light fixtures. The LED lamps have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, versus only 20,000 hours for the existing lamps. The color rendering index (CRI), or ability of people to see colors under the lights, is much higher for the LED, making it easier for Ports to Plains customers to see the areas illuminated, improving the customer shopping experience, safety and security.
Jim Miller, Owner of Ports to Plains, had these comments: “I highly recommend converting to LED technology and taking advantage of this “low hanging fruit” for facilities upgrade, operational improvement and financial gain. Waiting for prices to come down (which they have) is really letting savings get away on a monthly basis and not worth the delay. I have found that the new look is cleaner / brighter and has a safer feeling. Maintenance costs are drastically reduced and frees up staff for other duties. I found working with the Eco-$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.”
The energy efficient LED retrofit lights were provided by eco-smart.com, a distributor of “green” construction materials based in Sarasota, FL who supplies contractors and facilities throughout the world. Eco-$mart, Inc. was founded in 1993, and is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business.