Al Dahlgren, a franchise owner of Once Upon a Child, a store that buys and sells children’s clothes and toys, struggled with high electricity bills and frequent fluorescent tube burnouts. “Not only were the electricity costs high,” he said, “but every other month I was having to hire an electrician to come in and replace ballasts.” Al knew rebate options were available for upgrading to efficient LED lighting, but finding the right information for his business was a challenge. “Every time I’d have an electrician come in, I would look for information about rebate programs, but it was all pretty technical, and I had a hard time deciphering how it was going to apply in my case.”
CEE’s One-Stop Efficiency Shop, sponsored by Xcel Energy, helps small to midsize Minnesota businesses reduce operating costs with free consulting and lighting rebates. A call from one of their lighting consultants was exactly what Al needed to get on track for lighting upgrades.
“CEE recommended a trusted contractor who came in for two days. They did a great job — they were clean, courteous and there was very little disruption to my business and customers.”
Assessing the facility for cost-effective upgrades
The One-Stop lighting consultant conducted a free lighting assessment to determine the best LED options for the space. Al needed low maintenance lights that would match the store’s aesthetics, with warmer colors in the lunchroom, offices, and bathrooms and bright white throughout the store to make the merchandize pop. “Interior improvements within my store make sense for me if the payback and the return is worth the investment,” Al said. The lighting consultant created a customized report with recommendations, estimated payback periods, energy savings, and rebates to help Al make the best decisions for his business. “The payback period was so fast, it just made sense,” he said.
Lights, savings, action!
With guidance from the lighting consultant, Al replaced fluorescent ballasts with two different styles of 4’ LED tubes. The new lights have a much longer life expectancy and are easier to maintain, allowing Al to do much of the maintenance himself. “Now we have two different styles and 95% of the bulbs are the same. It will be much easier ongoing maintenance,” Al said. “CEE recommended a trusted contractor who came in for two days. They did a great job — they were clean, courteous and there was very little disruption to my business and customers.” The new lights also improved the look and feel of the store with whiter lighting in the shopping area and warmer lighting in the office.
The One-Stop Efficiency Shop, sponsored by Xcel Energy, provides free lighting and HVAC consulting and rebates to Minnesota businesses. Sign up for a free, no-commitment energy assessment today.