WG Davies, MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd’s main dealer in South Wales, has recently upgraded the lighting at its Cardiff, Swansea & Tenby storage facilities with energy efficient LED luminaires supplied and installed by Leicestershire-based energy-saving lighting specialist, Ecolighting Ltd.
The switch to LED technology at the three sites will result in an average of 76.6 % annual energy saving for WG Davies which means that the company’s yearly energy bill will drop by an average of just over£8,000 per site.
The business case for switching to energy-saving lighting was made even more compelling for WG Davies by the fact that the company qualified for an interest-free loan from the Carbon Trust.
Private sector SME’s based in Wales that can demonstrate an acceptable credit history and have been trading as a Limited Company for a minimum of 12 months (or Unincorporated for at least 36 months) can apply for interest free, unsecured loans of up to £200,000 from the Carbon Trust to replace existing equipment with fossil fuel saving alternatives.
“While, for most companies, the installation of energy efficient lighting will deliver a very swift return on investment, one of the main barriers to businesses implementing energy efficiency projects is the availability of finance,” commented Ecolighting’s sales director, Steve Gardner.
”For businesses based in Wales that qualify for an interest free loan from the Carbon Trust this barrier is removed and finance is not an issue,” he added.
The premium costs involved in providing chilled or frozen storage, make it essential that cold store operators not only make maximum use of the pallet space available to them but also ensure that their buildings operate as energy efficiently as possible.
It is well known that installing effective insulation and adopting efficient loading and unloading practices to prevent cold air from leaving the building will help to reduce cold store running costs significantly.
But, perhaps surprisingly, many cold store operators fail to realise the significant impact that lighting has on their energy consumption.
Inefficient traditional luminaires affect a cold store’s costs in a number of ways, but most significantly they require more energy to generate satisfactory light levels and they produce heat – which is clearly counter-productive within a chilled-room environment. They are also often costly to maintain.
LED light sources, on the other hand, consume less energy and produce less heat. They also need no lamp replacement and, importantly, emit light immediately.
Many older cold store facilities are lit by sodium or metal-halide luminaire technology. Compared to modern LED-based lighting systems, these fittings bring a number of disadvantages - not the least of which is the fact that the lamps have to remain on for long periods to ensure that enough heat is maintained in the fitting to give off adequate illumination.
LED lights on the other hand thrive in cold temperatures – in fact LEDs get more efficient as the temperature falls.
And with sodium fittings consuming in the region of three times the amount of energy of LED, the cost benefits of switching to LED are immediately obvious.
While lighting requirements in cold stores are often low, better light quality brings a number of operational benefits, including simple things such as making labels and storage documents easier to read within the store.
But, when lower energy consumption and reduced heat production are factored in, the case for introducing LED fittings becomes compelling for any cold store operator.