Lights up, costs down at Strack & Van Til chain

2012-08-01T14:00:00Z 2012-08-01T16:17:36Z Lights up, costs down at Strack & Van Til chainAndrea Holecek Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 01, 2012 2:00 pm  • 

HIGHLAND | The 30-store Strack & Van Til chain's recent upgrade of the lights in its supermarkets to make them more energy efficient will save money as well as the environment.

“It’s the smart thing to do ,” said Dave Wilkinson, president of the Highland-based chain. “Energy is money. It makes sense economically and it’s the green thing to do.”

Work has been completed on the majority of the Strack & Van Til and Ultra stores, one other is under way and several already were using the type of lights being installed during the upgrade. Wilkinson estimates the chain will save about $40,000 in energy costs annually in each of the stores receiving the new lights, each with a payback of those costs in 1.3 years.

The former lights were “energy hogs,” he said.

Midwest Lighting Services LLC, a company Stack & Van Til has worked with in the past, was hired for the project.

“They're local and we like that,” Wilkinson said.

Ted Zapinski, vice president of Midwest Lighting Services, said the lighting in the stores has been updated using the latest in high lumen, XL fluorescents and L.E.D technology bulbs.

A certified lighting efficiency professional, Zapinski said the payback of each store costs are calculated using the state mandated utility rebates and federal tax incentives, as well as reduced maintenance costs associated with the longer-life lamps.

Although consumers won’t see monetary saving directly, there is an indirect financial benefit to shoppers because the energy savings helps keep the chain’s total costs down, Wilkinson said.

“Prices go up all the time so it helps us save on our bottom line,” he said. “All retailers – and consumers – are always trying to find ways to save on their costs.”

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