BR Williams Trucking, based in Oxford, Alabama, has completed a renovation of 1.2 million ft2 of warehouse space in three facilities using GE Lighting T5 fluorescent technology. GE Capital provided the financing for the project and distributor Mayer Electric supplied the products that are projected to deliver $156,200 annually in energy savings.
The project demonstrates that energy-efficient lighting projects can easily be justified, even when a business can't afford or justify the high upfront cost of the project. GE Capital was able to structure the financing so that the energy savings more than covers BR Williams' monthly payments.
"When costs for lighting equipment, installation, and disposal are combined into a loan with fixed monthly payments, it can be structured around a company's estimated utility savings," said Diane Cooper, leader of GE Capital, Equipment Finance. "By financing the lighting retrofit through GE Capital, BR Williams was able to preserve its working capital for more pressing needs and eliminate a large upfront capital expenditure."
The project entailed replacement of 400W metal halide (MH) fixtures with four- and six-lamp T5 fluorescent high-bay fixtures, each equipped with GE UltraStart programmed-start electronic ballasts. For the three-facility project, the upfront cost was $316,000. That cost could be recouped in two years simply through energy savings. GE Capital provided the financing on a three-year term.
"This return on investment achievement at BR Williams — immediate monthly energy savings higher than the financing payment and the fast two-year project payback period — is a best practice for commercial operations of any size," noted Jaime Irick, general manager of North America Professional Solutions at GE Lighting. "It's an irresistible value proposition backed by measurable results."
While the financial story is clear, however, BR Williams was also determined to improve the lighting conditions in its warehouses. Gregory D. Brown, chairman of the board of BR Williams, said, "The product technology is very impressive. We realized we needed much brighter light in some areas because of the nature of the work, and our employees are very pleased now."
A lighting and energy audit conducted by Mayer Electric convinced BR Williams of the need to purse a renovation and helped guide the technology choice. Brown added, "The program has been a lot better than I'd expected."