In 2015, Sherman's purchased a 127,000-square-foot building in Peoria Heights to serve as a distribution center for the retail giant's growing furniture, bedding, appliance and electronics business. To ready the building, which had been vacant for 10 years, an improvement plan was developed to replace hundreds of metal halide fixtures that were inefficient and dim.
Sherman's managers turned to the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program for solutions. This program features nearly two dozen measures—from LED and other lighting upgrades to new construction, exterior fixtures, exit signs and occupancy sensors, along with a host of financial incentives.
The Sherman’s Plan
To light two primary levels in the building—one of which is operational for about 18 hours per day—our energy efficiency advisors recommended that Sherman's utilize LED lights for the higher-use space and T5 lamps for the level where usage is more sporadic.
Replacing 230 outdated metal halide fixtures with energy-efficient lights was made easier with $20,000 in incentives Ameren was able to provide. The program awards 35 cents for every watt reduced by switching from an existing fixture to a new lighting solution.
In addition to the up-front savings, the high-efficiency lighting will have a long-term positive impact on the company’s bottom line. Representatives from Sherman's tell us that the new lighting will reduce annual electricity consumption by more than 286,000 kilowatt-hours—translating to approximately $17,000 in annual savings.
“The Ameren Illinois incentive process is about as smooth as I’ve ever seen," notes Paul Sherman, president. "I was expecting to jump through a lot more hoops to participate, but the experience was refreshingly painless."
Today, about 80 employees work at the facility, which has become the company’s administrative headquarters, as well as a warehouse and distribution center. The new lights made for a far warmer welcome when staff moved in February 2016. “I would absolutely recommend the Ameren Illinois program to other business owners,” Sherman adds. “There is nothing negative about the program—it’s totally positive.”
Savings: Year After Year
Lighting accounts for 20 to 50 percent of the average business' electricity consumption. On the bright side, that means you can enjoy significant savings—year after year—by making simple lighting improvements. Ameren Illinois offers cash incentives for a variety of lighting projects, including:
- Replacing T12s with high-performance T8 or T5 lamps;
- LED exit signs;
- Interior LED lighting;
- LED case lighting;
- Highbay lighting replacements;
- Exterior lighting for canopies and garages;
- T-8 to T-5 relamp and reballast; and
- Permanent lamp/fixture removal.
ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lighting uses at least 75-percent less energy than incandescent lighting, which cuts operating costs. And because it lasts 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting—and up to five times longer than fluorescent lighting—you’ll save on maintenance costs, too. iBi
Keith Martin is Director – Energy Efficiency at Ameren Illinois.