As the world's largest operator, franchisor and licensor of convenience stores, 7-Eleven® has a passion for fast, exceptional service. When the company wanted to reduce its operating costs, its attention immediately turned to LED lighting.
“Going back a few years, we saw that a big expense for us—utility bills—was growing, so we needed to address it,” said Mark Morgan, Manager of Stores Engineering for 7-Eleven. “In simple terms, we knew selling more product was not the answer—we had to reduce the utility spend and had to take the next steps in technology to get there.”
7-Eleven decided to upgrade to LED lighting at more than 1,600 properties in the U.S. and Canada within one year, and it wanted a vendor that shared its passion for exceptional service. That's why it chose GE to deliver the LED lamps and fixtures it needed inside and outdoors.
“You can hit a double or swing for a homerun, and the homerun was our site lighting—from under the canopy to the parking lot to the building,” said Morgan. “The old lighting we have is HID, so we were dealing mostly with 400-watt metal halide fixtures with low Color Rendering Index (CRI). Testing showed LED would give us about a 60-percent savings on our utility bill, increase the CRI and do a better job of not infringing light on neighboring properties, so light trespassing wasn't an issue.”
7-Eleven formalized its LED lighting specification plan and began to transform more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The company later revised its specification based on new expectations for LED product and supplier performance, ultimately awarding the business to GE.
GE's Evolve™ LED Canopy Lights, Area Lights and Wall Packs have been installed since 2013 at newly constructed store locations and properties the company acquired. The 7-Eleven Construction, Engineering, Facilities and Procurement teams appreciate having different lumen packages to choose from to find the right balance between light output and energy savings at each site. 7-Eleven expects the outdoor fixtures—all products of GE ecomagination℠—will require less maintenance for the next 10 years.
“Exterior lighting is about 10 to 15 percent of the utility budget, and interior lighting is another 10 percent,” Morgan added. “So, anytime 7-Eleven can save 60 percent on 20 percent of its total bill, that's something worth achieving.”
To cut lighting costs inside its stores, 7-Eleven specified GE's Lumination™ LED Luminaires and new LED Replacement Tubes as well as a number of LED Replacement Lamps. 7-Eleven is also saving with GE's Immersion™ LED refrigerated display lighting and Tetra® LED sign lighting in some stores.
RESULTS & BENEFITS
7-Eleven stores that receive a full lighting replacement will save an average of $1,500 in annual energy costs as the result of GE's interior and exterior LED lighting (based on average 24-hour interior and 10-hour exterior burn per day at $0.11 kWh rate). Once all 1,600 LED conversions are completed by 2015, total lighting energy savings could reach $2.4 million per year.
With GE's help, 7-Eleven will accelerate the project's return on investment and expects to capture lighting rebates totaling several million dollars as well.
“We challenged GE with aggressive deadlines for completing audits and installations, and the company was extremely responsive, from going over site plans to getting everyone comfortable and marching in step,” Morgan continued. “The applications and account people we've dealt with have been great, which makes us feel good knowing everything is lined up and ready.”