Joe Fasula, vp of Gerrity’s Supermarkets, faced a lighting dilemma at his company’s nine stores in northeast Pennsylvania: All were outfitted with an aging fluorescent system that was losing its reflectivity. As a result, the stores’ aisles were becoming dimmer and less attractive to shoppers -- even as Fasula’s lighting bills continued to climb.
To overcome those problems, Gerrity’s turned to EnvironmentalBuild (Dalton, Pa.), a distributor of eco-friendly construction products. EnvironmentalBuild recommended replacing the supermarkets’ existing four-lamp, T-12 fluorescent lighting system with one that uses two-lamp, T-8 fluorescents. A key feature of the new system is an electronic ballast that’s backed by MIRO-Micro Matt, a highly reflective material developed by ALANOD Aluminum (Ennepetal, Germany) that creates a brighter environment with fewer lamps.
Installing this new lighting cost Gerrity’s about $40,000 per store. However, EnvironmentalBuild says the supermarket chain will quickly recoup that investment, as the updated illuminating is expected to reduce its energy costs at each store by more than $35,000 per year. In addition, the new lighting system allowed Gerrity’s to take advantage of a federal tax credit through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that benefits businesses that lower their energy usage.
The cost savings has also been good news for the environment and for Gerrity’s customers. “With the cost of food on the rise, this allows us to absorb more of these cost increases before we have to pass them along to our customers,” says Fasula.