EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — March 4, 2014 — (NYSE:GE) —
With a mission to support the environment and minimize energy use, it is only natural for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage to incorporate all-LED lighting in its distribution center and new grocery stores. The rapidly growing company has installed such fixtures as GE's Albeo™ linear lighting fixtures
and LED high bay lighting fixtures
—chosen for their energy efficiency, ease of installation and customizable configurations.
Compared to fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID) lighting, the LED lighting
is expected to reduce Natural Grocers' energy usage by more than 1.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) across 40 locations and its distribution center, saving the natural and organic food and product retailer nearly $193,000 each year.
"In everything we do and provide, we are committed to being environmentally responsible. Utilizing LED lighting fixtures throughout each new store is a smart, visible way that we demonstrate this commitment,” said Kevin Stees, construction project manager for Natural Grocers. “Using LED lighting rather than fluorescent or incandescent lighting saves energy and reduces maintenance and recycling needs, allowing us to focus on what we care about—offering the very best to our customers while reducing our impact on the environment.”
Natural Grocers' usage of GE's LED lighting in its stores and distribution center will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.5 million pounds, equivalent to removing 234 cars from roads for a year or planting 334 acres of trees.
Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers, which began in 1955 as a family business, uses environmentally sensitive materials throughout its stores and offers bag-free shopping for customers. Its leaders identified GE's Albeo LED lighting fixtures as the preferred means to illuminate new stores, which range from 12,000–25,000 square feet and can be found in 13 western states from Texas to Montana. The energy-efficient LED lighting provides a high lumen output and has a high color rendering index (CRI) of 90+ that helps enhance the visual appeal of fresh produce, prepared foods and other merchandise.
At each new store, GE customized the mounting scheme by configuring and matching different lengths of the ALC3-Series LED lighting fixtures to fit a variety of store formats and lighting layouts. Additionally, Albeo products contain ‘plug-and-play' features and are specially designed for quick installation, which simplifies electrical needs, helps reduce contractor labor costs, and speeds up the overall lighting system installation—key for Natural Grocers, which often opens two new stores per month.
Compared to lighting that is typically used in grocery stores, the LED lighting in Natural Grocers' 40 new locations is expected to use 38 percent less energy—or fewer than 1.5 million kWh annually. This translates to a total savings of nearly $170,000 each year in energy costs.
At the distribution center in Golden, Colo., Natural Grocers replaced 400-watt HID metal halides without motion sensors with 157-watt Albeo ABHX-Series LED high bay lighting fixtures with motion control, providing a 93 percent energy savings and reducing overall maintenance needs. Natural Grocers is expected to save more than $23,000 annually in energy costs alone. The ABHX-Series' life is rated for 100,000 hours at L70, or 70 percent of the initial light output, compared to HID, which can burn out after 20,000 hours.
“Albeo LED lighting provides energy and maintenance savings and flexibility in its usage,” said David Stewart, industrial brand manager for GE Lighting. “Through these innovative fixtures, GE is pleased to support Natural Grocers' commitment to environmentally sensitive operations.”