Renewable energy, LED upgrades abound

LEDs, high-efficiency HVAC units, and consideration of solar power are the strides convenience stores are making in energy efficiency.

Renewable energy plans and the continued shift to LED lights mark an ongoing shift for retailers towards a greater focus on lighting and energy efficiency goals.

Jackson, Ky.-based Go Time, which operates seven stores in Kentucky, has built six new stores since 2016, all of which incorporate LED lights. Go Time is currently building its eighth store in Corbin, Ky.

“We want the most efficient lights we can buy,” said Scott King, owner of Go Time.

Go Time’s new builds use narrow and long LED lights in interior drop ceilings. LED lights are also used in exterior soffits and canopies. In addition, floor lamps with double or triple LED heads are used at Go Time.

The original store also uses LED bulbs inside, with “CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) around the exterior soffit and the old metal halide lights in the canopy,” King said.

Two benefits of the store’s energy efficiency initiatives are its cost savings and the fact that with LED lights, “you can replace the drivers, and the lights don’t go out, like in a bulb fixture.”

Go Time uses the highest HVAC units with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio as well as gas heaters and gas heaters. It also provides a high R-value – which is the level of resistance to heat flow of an insulating material – using spray insulation in all stores.

Commitment to renewable energy

Sheetz, based in Altoona, Pa., which operates more than 640 stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina, has also taken the initiative to focus on solutions for ‘energy saving.

As with Go Time, LED lighting has been installed on Sheetz sites. Sheetz also uses high-efficiency HVAC units, alternative refrigerants, and advanced building automation systems in new and existing locations.

Recently, in an effort to power 70% of its Pennsylvania facilities with renewable energy, Sheetz entered into a long-term renewable supply agreement with Constellation, an electric and energy service provider.

The company’s commitment to renewable energy supports the Pennsylvania Solar Projects, which will provide a total of 55 megawatts of renewable energy. Of this amount, Sheetz will receive approximately 110 million kilowatt hours of energy per year.

Sheetz will avoid nearly 78,000 metric tons of carbon emissions associated with its energy consumption each year.

Neon Marketplace, which currently operates four stores with 20 more under development and 150 openings in the next five years, is also a testament to the growing popularity of LED lights.

It uses LED technology both inside and outside its stores, including ceiling lighting, emergency lighting, canopy lighting and area lighting fixtures.

Additionally, Neon works with TPG Construction to use products that have earned the Energy Star by complying with EPA regulations.

Neon realized over $3,000 in Energy Star rebates.

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