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For Food Retailers, LEDs Light the Way to Energy Savings, Higher Sales

foodretailerenergyuseA significant increase in utility rebates, a steady rise in electricity costs and the Obama administration’s funding earmarked for energy-efficiency projects makes it the best time for food retailers to upgrade to LED lighting in the U.S., according to a white paper from Nualight Ltd.

At least one retailer is ahead of the game on LED adoption. Star Market, which is owned by Supervalu, will open its first all-LED store Oct. 30, reports Supermarket News. Supervalu claims the store, which is in Chestnut Hill, Mass., will be the first U.S. supermarket location to exclusively feature LED lighting throughout the store and parking lot.

The white paper, Lighting the Way to Greener Retailing, indicates that retailers that don’t upgrade to LED lighting are wasting hundreds of dollars per day in energy and related costs. It also finds that LED lighting can lead to increased sales with brighter, more vibrant displays.

According to the paper, more than 35 percent of energy use at food retailers is consumed by refrigeration, including display cases, freezers, coolers, and beverage dispensers. Fluorescent lighting contributes about a 25 to 50 percent increase in total power consumed in these applications, while studies show LED lighting in refrigerated glass door displays can cut energy consumption by up to 60 percent, according to the report.

The research also shows that food retailers can reduce the cost of LED lighting installations and retrofits 30 to 50 percent by partnering with a local utility-sponsored rebate program. These rebates are typically prescriptive, where utilities reward retailers financially after product installation, or customized, where each customer and payment is determined by kilowatts saved.

The report also indicates that food retailers that maintain energy-efficient commercial buildings and meet certification requirements can be eligible for corporate exemptions of $0.30 to $1.80 per square foot.

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