Market saves energy
Rick Stewart stands in front of one of the cases recently installed with LED lighting. Photo by Jordan Clary
July 3, 2012 — One day, about 10 years ago, a man walked into Susanville Supermarket and began telling Owner Rick Stewart how he could help him save money by implementing projects that would use energy more efficiently.
The man was Martin Balding and Stewart was dubious.
Today, however, Stewart calls Balding “Mr. Wizard,” and said by following his suggestions, Susanville Supermarket has made substantial savings.
“Martin has really evaluated everything in the store with respect to energy efficiency,” he said.
The newest addition to Susanville Supermarket’s energy saving projects was the installation of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting.
Balding said, “LEDs have some advantages that make them desirable in certain applications. Their light is directional, meaning that most of the lighting effect can be directed at the desired point and not wasted on backlighting. Also, LEDs can be rapidly turned on and off within a wide temperature range. Unlike fluorescent lamps, they do not require a ballast. Also, they have high efficiency even in small lamps such as flashlights, taillights and a host of other applications. Long lamp life is another plus for LEDs.”
Ninety-eight lights were recently installed in the supermarket’s reach-in glass cases. These lights have motion detectors that increase the lighting when customers approach the cases, which allows for light reduction when no one is in the area.
Balding estimates the savings for this installation will exceed $3,000 a year and may be as much as $4,000 a year.
The project was part of Lassen Municipal Utility District’s (LMUD) Keep Your Cool program that encourages local businesses to engage in energy-conserving measures.
Theresa Phillips, the energy specialist at LMUD said, “A number of local businesses have participated in the Keep Your Cool program, but Susanville Supermarket goes above and beyond in the way they operate. Their energy consumption is a fraction of what a usual grocery store uses.”
Due to Balding’s suggestions, the supermarket has not needed to use their air conditioning for several years. They’ve alsocustomized their defrost system and changed their lighting.
“Focusing on energy efficiency helps us stay competitive,” said Stewart. “We’re able to pass this savings onto our customers.”
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