Sustainability: Lighting system cuts energy consumption for Clover Hill Foods
March 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial
Clover Hill Foods is a food distribution business with an appetite for high quality and customer service. Started in 1973 as an egg and dairy distributor, today the company supports 1,200 supermarkets, bakeries, grocery stores and other food service operations in nine states on the East Coast. Its 73,000-square-foot headquarters in Bridgeville, Pa., stores a broad selection of meats, cheeses, dairy products and other items to fill customer orders.
One of the company’s ongoing challenges has been managing energy costs. So, it began an in-depth analysis of opportunities to control energy use. They identified lighting, which represented 35% of the company’s annual energy bill, as an area that could provide significant savings.
Upgrading to energy-efficient LED lighting could reduce lighting energy use, while also improving light levels for operators. The team compared the performance, expected lifetimes, warranties and total cost of ownership of LED alternatives and selected a new intelligent LED lighting solution (Digital Lumens Intelligent Lighting System, http://www.digitallumens.com) as a replacement for all of their legacy lighting fixtures.
“The lighting upgrade has reduced our lighting energy use by 91% and also improved light levels,” says Gerry Hickly, CFO of Clover Hill Foods. “Because the system reports on all lighting performance metrics—kWh use and occupancy—we have complete visibility into how and where lighting is being used and exactly how much it costs.”
Unlike traditional lights, which have only on/off settings, the new system has integrated motion sensors that react when an operator is in the area and provide light only when needed. When no one is in the area, the lights automatically turn off, or down, to minimize energy use. As a result, now each light at Clover Hill’s facility is on about 25% of the time, saving a significant amount of energy. The new 160W fixtures also minimize the amount of heat generated, which reduces the burden on the facility’s chiller system.
Pleased with the performance and new levels of control that the new lighting system offers, Hickly says, “We can now modify settings over time to maximize operator safety, while reducing energy use.”