Outdoor GE Evolve™ LED Lights Drive $49,000 Energy Savings for Atlanta Lexus Dealer

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — November 13, 2012 — (NYSE:GE) — When the new ownership team of Lexus of South Atlanta assumed operations in June 2011 they quickly pinpointed one of the first things they would change: the outdoor lighting. Shifting gears and opting for an LED (light-emitting diode) system—GE Evolve™ LED Area Lights—has cast a crisp white light on the dealership’s lot and the cars it sells, while cutting energy costs $49,000 a year for the long life of the new LED system.
 
“The effectiveness of our old lighting was adequate at best, and once we received the first utility bill, we realized the fixtures were very inefficient, and our electricity costs for outdoor lighting were a major part of our monthly expense,” says Sid Barron, general manager of Lexus of South Atlanta. “Our parent company, the Sumitomo Corporation, feels very strongly about environmentally sensitive operations, and it was clear to us that we needed to make a change.”
 
Interested in learning more about cost-effective lighting options, Lexus of South Atlanta contacted Georgia Power Company, the dealership’s electrical utility partner.
 
After performing a comprehensive site analysis including efficiency studies, bill audits and equipment comparisons, Georgia Power discussed its recommendations with Lexus of South Atlanta management. The team suggested installation of 82 GE Evolve LED Area Lights on 55 poles, distributed to optimize the lighting levels for the facility and to use the existing poles and pole locations.
 
“We reviewed the options and came up with a system designed around GE’s Evolve LED fixtures that would reduce energy consumption dramatically,” states Joe Cobb of Georgia Power’s Lighting Services Business Unit.
 
GE Evolve™ LED outdoor lighting
Annual cost savings will approach $49,000 following the move to more energy-efficient GE Evolve™ LED outdoor lighting.

 
Cobb and his team suggested removal of the existing high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting system, consisting of 138 1,000-watt metal halide fixtures mounted on 54 poles, with one, two or four fixtures per pole.
 
Lexus of South Atlanta agreed to invest in the new LED lighting, and the entire system was installed by Georgia Power in December 2011. Even before installation was complete, customers and employees were already seeing a difference.
 
“With a car dealership, your facility is essentially your drive-by billboard at night,” Barron explained. “Piquing people’s interest depends upon displaying your millions of dollars of inventory well, and since we are located on one of the most traveled roads in South Atlanta, lighting makes a huge difference. We now have much broader and more uniform lighting coverage of our lots, which is helpful from an inventory security standpoint and a display standpoint.”
 
Aesthetics weren’t the only noticeable difference. This highly efficient lighting does more with less—the advanced technology and optics require less energy and light to provide a more even light distribution than the metal halide HID fixtures they replaced.  Whereas the old HID lighting consumed 596,160 kilowatt hours (kWhs) of electricity a year, GE’s ecomagination℠ Evolve LED system draws a total of 77,289 kWhs—a nearly 87-percent reduction in electricity use. This equates to a substantial energy cost savings as Lexus of South Atlanta will now spend about $49,000 less for outdoor lighting each year.
 
“Car dealerships are just beginning to experience LED activation driven by lower payback periods and superior lighting quality," says Steve Briggs, global product general manager, GE Lighting. “The critical choice is to justify an investment in lighting over another car that can be sold in the near-term. My advice to owners is to start with an onsite ROI analysis then discuss energy-saving strategies with a lighting professional."
 
“We were skeptical of the LED lighting at first because the energy savings seemed ‘too good to be true’,” explains Tom Palmer, platform manager at Lexus of South Atlanta. “Once we saw the high quality of the lighting we were receiving for a fraction of the operating cost, we were very interested. Because of the results we’ve seen, we are now looking into using GE LED fixtures inside our showroom.”
 
Palmer continues, “We are saving money, our vehicles are being well displayed and we are living up to our corporate environmental goals. We have been so pleased that we are already suggesting that other dealerships follow suit and adopt these lighting systems.”
 
For more information about outdoor lighting from Georgia Power, visit http://outdoorlighting.georgiapower.com. For more information on the GE Lighting products used in this project, visit www.gelightingsolutions.com.
 
To learn more about GE’s commitment to innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges while driving economic growth, visit www.ecomagination.com.
 
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity.  The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average.  Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties.
 
About GE Lighting
GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs about 15,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve™, GTx™, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination™ and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.
 
50 Years of LED Innovation
Oct. 9, 1962, GE scientist Dr. Nick Holonyak, Jr., invented the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode (LED). In the 50 years since, GE has been on the forefront of LED innovation. The company has released inspired LED products for both residential and commercial settings, from the first ENERGY STAR®-qualified A19-shaped LED bulb to LED street lighting that illuminates cityscapes the world over.