The hallways and offices at the Exchange’s HQ in Dallas are brighter thanks to 14,000 new LED light bulbs installed in the building in July.
The project, which will wrap up this month, is expected to shave at least $142,000 annually off the Exchange’s electrical bill. The savings include less money spent on cooling the building because the lights, called tube light emitting diodes (TLED), give off less heat, said Brian Lally, the Real Estate Directorate’s corporate energy manager.
“The fluorescent lights were 32 watts and TLEDs are only 14 watts each, but represent a 56% reduction in energy consumed,” Lally said. “If we didn’t have this TLED project, we would need $3 million in annual sales to cover the costs of four to five generations of old fluorescent technology.”
What made the payback even better was the ability of HQ’s Facilities Management Office (FMO) to help—a combined effort of FMO associates, Exchange procurement specialists and a contractor, Lally said.
HQ’s original building—the South portion—was constructed in 1967 when the Exchange moved from New York City to Dallas. The North building was constructed in the in the 1980s.
“Because the building’s electrical system is so old, we can’t even turn off the hallway lights with wall switches or wouldn’t be able to turn back on the 50-year-old circuit breakers if we turned them off, so the lighting stays on 24/7/365,” Lally said.
Appropriate lighting also enhances work environments, so associates should see better in the hallways and at their desks, said Michael Zalvis, the Exchange’s energy project manager.
HQ isn’t the only place implementing cost savings.
During the past four years, the Real Estate Directorate has upgraded more than 40 main stores, Expresses and the Waco Distribution Center with new LED fixtures as part of renovations. Savings are topping $2.5 million a year.
Overall, total CONUS store energy costs have been reduced by nearly 20% during the past five years.
“Image upgrades to stores always include ways to improve lighting in main stores, malls, warehouses and food courts,” said Real Estate Senior Vice President Mike Smietana. “We do this not only to make our stores look attractive but to reduce our costs”.
“When we save on operating costs anywhere at the Exchange, we increase our earnings and the resulting dividends to the military’s Quality-of-Life programs.”