Convenience Store/Gas Station chain Wawa, Inc. (Wawa, Penn.) was searching for a solution to combat rising energy costs, which added up quickly over its 600 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region. It found an answer in GE's super-efficient ImmersionTM RV30 LED Refrigerated display lighting solution for vertical cases. This all-inclusive LED solution met all of Wawa's needs by slashing energy, enhancing visual appeal, offering a 50,000-hour virtually maintenance free lifetime, and installing quickly and easily.
In 2006 Wawa saw its utility budget increasing between 12 and 15 percent over each of the previous five years. It turned out lighting accounted for 30 percent of electric usage.
Offering significant energy savings, high-quality uniform light, a long reliable service life and faster installation, GE's Immersion LED Refrigerated Display lighting for vertical cases was chosen as the solution to combat these rising energy costs. This super-efficient LED solution will save Wawa over $1,000,000 annually in energy and maintenance savings.
"At Wawa we don't make decisions unless there's a clear benefit to the customer and a firm financial rationale behind it. It also has to be something that's consistent and can be reproduced in 600 stores. For those reasons brand reputation was also very important to us. GE was the right partner with the best solution who we knew would stand behind its product," says Scott Boorse, energy and petroleum operations manager for Wawa.
ImmersionTM RV30 LED Refrigerated Display Lighting
Wawa tested and evaluated three competitive LED solutions in refrigerated coolers in several of its stores beginning in 2008. "GE's Immersion LED Refrigerated Display Lighting solution stood head and shoulders above the rest," says Boorse. "Our two leading criteria [for the test] were, 'How does the light look?' and 'How easy is it to install?' GE came out ahead in those categories and presented the best overall value. Our beverage and dairy products sparkled through the doors, and the colors were crisper and sharper than we'd ever seen. We could also change out a store in half the time compared to the other systems we tried."
With the help of GE Lighting distributor Facility Solutions Group (FSG), Wawa installed 4000K Immersion LED lighting in refrigerated cooler and freezer cases in its remaining 590 locations, totaling more than 10,000 doors, throughout 2010 and 2011. Thirty-three-watt 70-inch LED light fixtures replaced 82-watt fluorescent T8 lamps including ballasts in between 12 and 14 cooler doors per store, while 27-watt 60-inch LED fixtures were used in Wawa's two-, three- or four-door freezers. Boorse added it was important not to impact Wawa's peak sales times during the lighting retrofits. Immersion's ease of installation ensured it was never an issue.
Results & Benefits
According to Boorse, Wawa has reduced refrigerated cooler/freezer electricity and maintenance expense by a combined 78 percent since its adoption of GE's Immersion LED refrigerated display lighting. Annual cost savings per store average $2,000—equating to $1.2 million across Wawa's entire 600-store chain, including locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. Ultimately, the company will experience project payback after only 26 to 28 months.
Wawa further maximized its energy savings by applying and qualifying for energy-efficient lighting program and utility rebates in Pennsylvania and Delaware, with an additional rebate pending in New Jersey.
"Immersion LED has become our refrigerated display lighting standard. All new construction starts with GE product in our cooler boxes," says Boorse, adding that Wawa opens between 25 and 40 stores a year, with brand new locations planned in Orlando, Fla., this July.
After seeing the success retailers like Wawa have experienced from installing energy-efficient lighting in theirs stores, GE introduced the next generation of LED refrigerated display lighting, with the Immersion™ RV40 LED series. These LED lights use up to 45 percent less wattage than the previous generation, offer enhanced visual appeal and drive an even faster payback period.