Small Business Program Leads to Big Savings
As a business owner, you likely love to save money, wherever you can. At least, that’s what Chris Salisbury, the owner of Hive Lifespan Center in East Amherst, New York, strives to do. So when he heard about the Small Business Direct Install Program, which encourages and helps companies switch from incandescent to LED lighting, he was intrigued.
“The Small Business Direct Install Program is offered through our electric company, National Grid, in partnership with Lime Energy,” explained Salisbury. “The total cost of the project for our 17,000-square-foot club was [estimated at] $32,500, of which National Grid picked up $22,200 of the cost, and allowed us to finance the balance remainder interest free.”
According to Salisbury, the program promised big savings for his business. “Our estimated annual savings is $10,700 … so the plan pays for itself in less than 12 months,” he said. “Additionally there is a five-year parts warranty and two-year parts and labor warranty on all the products. Furthermore, they don’t anticipate the need to change light bulbs for nearly 10 years.”
In addition to cost savings, Salisbury explained he’s a fan of the atmosphere LED lighting provides when compared to other types. “LED lighting provides a much more pleasant and design-friendly lighting package,” he said. “Club owners that have a strong interior design focus in their clubs will experience proper rendition of the paint and finish colors in the club.”
Although Salisbury is happy with the final results, there were a few hiccups along the way. He explained that because the project estimator didn’t ask a few key questions, the project was delayed substantially.
“Owners need to communicate the desired kelvins color temperature to the project estimator,” said Salisbury. “This should be consistent throughout the club. Second, club owners need to communicate the number of volts for the fixtures in their club. For example, exterior lighting commonly is 480 volts, and interior may be 277 or 120 volts. Again, our estimator did not ask these questions and made assumptions that proved to be incorrect. This stretched out the project for nearly three months.”
Despite these hiccups, Salisbury had positive savings projections. “We will save nearly 40 percent off of our annual electric bill as a result of the switch to LED lighting,” he said.
Salisbury explained that if his landlord hadn’t alerted him to the Small Business Direct Install Program, he might not have heard about the program at all. As a result, he urged other club owners to look into whether similar programs are offered in their states.
“Typically, aside from rent, payroll and lease payments, a club’s electric bill is one of its largest monthly fixed expenses,” said Salisbury.
By installing LED lighting in your club, this may help cut down on some of those costs.
By Rachel Zabonick