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Davis & Warshow Unveils US’s First Net-Zero Lighting Cost Facility

Kitchen and bathroom supplier Davis & Warshow has converted its entire 209,000-square-foot Queens, N.Y., distribution center from fluorescent tubes to LED tube lighting.
The company says it now has the largest single-facility LED tube installation with the most energy-efficient lighting in watts per-square-foot in the US. It is also the country’s first facility to achieve net zero lighting costs with LED tubes, thanks to a rooftop solar array installed in 2010 that provides more energy that the 200,000 annual kWh needed to power the lighting, the company says.
Davis & Warshow used products made by Independence LED in the retrofit. Prior to the conversion, lighting equaled nearly 65 percent of the structure’s total power usage, costing almost $50,000 per year. It now has decreased to less than 50 percent of the building’s total energy use and costs less than $20,000 per year to run – reducing the company’s lighting tab by nearly $40,000 a year, according to D&W.

The project cost more than $250,000 to complete. With rebates and energy savings, the project will have paid for itself in five years, according to D&W.
Both the installation of the solar array and the LED conversion are part of Davis & Warshow’s “Practically Green” program – a “small-steps” approach to going green that the company inaugurated in 2008.  The company says that the successes shown by the initiative so far are proof that even small businesses like D&W make a difference in reducing their environmental footprint.
In August, a General Motors manufacturing facility in Spring Hill, Tenn., announced electricity savings of over $800,000 a year after installing high-efficiency lighting and wireless controls. The lighting upgrade project included replacing nearly 4,500 fixtures with high-efficiency fluorescent lights made by Light Corporation and installing a wireless control system by Kanepi Innovations. The project is expected to save GM more than 8.5 million kWh of electricity a year, preventing annual carbon emissions equivalent to that of 657,088 gallons of gas.
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