Texas-Sized Savings: United Supermarkets uses GE Lumination LED Refrigerated Display Lighting to slash energy costs

CLEVELAND, Ohio — (NYSE: GE)  Texas-based United Supermarkets, LLC, has retrofitted low- and medium-temperature refrigerated display cases in all of its 47 stores with a GE ecomaginationsm product – a light-emitting diode (LED) solution from Lumination, a GE Appliances & Lighting (NYSE: GE) business. 

The Lumination LED Refrigerated Display Lighting solution replaces United Supermarket's traditional T12 fluorescent lamps and T8 fluorescent lamps. In all, United retrofitted more than 3,600 doors in its reach-in door merchandisers with the GE LED solution. United expects to save more than $633,000 annually in energy and maintenance savings ($369,000 in energy savings and $264,000 in maintenance savings).

"United Supermarkets wanted to lower energy costs in its refrigerated coolers while improving the look of its product facings," says Philip Fritz, product manager - display lighting, Lumination. "By replacing existing fluorescent lighting with GE's efficient, long-life LED Refrigerated Display Lighting Solution, United Supermarkets is realizing both objectives."

The expected payback is 1.8 years through energy savings and many years of virtually maintenance-free service with a rated life of up to 50,000 hours. The LEDs also provide uniform color and up to three times the light-level uniformity of fluorescent lamps.

The GE LEDs can be turned off at night without any adverse effect on performance or lifetime. For United Supermarkets, that capability means it has reduced the total hours of operation for the lighting in its refrigerated coolers from 24 hours each day with fluorescent lamps to 16 hours per day with LEDs.

"Lowering our energy costs is very important to us," says Michael Molina, vice president of facilities and design at United Supermarkets. "The LED retrofit in our refrigerated coolers is providing significant energy savings. Doing all we can to be environmentally conscious is also important. We are a 92-year-old company now in its third generation of family ownership, and we want to make our operations better now and for the next generation."

The combined environmental impact of the 47-store retrofit represents an annual 2.9-million pound reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. It also equals the good that comes from planting more than 364 acres of trees or removing about 257 cars from the road for every year the LED lighting operates in place of fluorescent lighting.

To date, GE has more than 20 customer installations of its LED Refrigerated Display Lighting solution worldwide. Eight of the top 10 U.S. grocers/supermarkets are testing or using the solution.

Primary benefits of GE's RoHS-compliant, UL-approved LED Refrigerated Display Lighting solution include:
  • Improved product visibility with reduced light-source glare on products and floors;
  • Hidden light source provides better access to products for stockers and consumers;
  • More robust and, unlike fluorescent lamps, it doesn't contain glass or mercury and it doesn't produce UV or infrared light;
  • Up to 78 percent energy savings compared with VHO fluorescent lamps in a 5-door fixture; and
  • More than two times the life of fluorescent lamps in a cold environment reduces maintenance costs and hassles (50,000 vs. 18,000 hours).
GE's LED Refrigerated Display Lighting solution also saves watts by lessening the load on the compressor. For every light watt reduced in a frozen food case, the compressor works less hard, saving approximately 0.45 watts. On a 5-door case, the additional energy savings from a reduced load on the compressor, can reach 70 watts vs. T8 fluorescent; 134 watts vs. HO fluorescent; and 330 watts vs. VHO fluorescent.

"United Supermarkets is showing that retailers of all sizes can have a big impact with the use of energy-saving GE LED solutions," notes Fritz.

About United Supermarkets
United Supermarkets, LLC is a Texas-based, family-owned retail grocery chain with stores in 26 markets throughout north and west Texas. A self-distributing company with its headquarters and distribution center in Lubbock, United operates 47 stores under three distinct formats: United Supermarkets™, Market Street™ and Super Mercado. A past winner of both the Community Involvement Award by Supermarket News and the National Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, United Supermarkets has been named one of the "Best Companies to Work for in Texas" the past three years.

About Lumination, LLC
Lumination, LLC, a subsidiary of General Electric Company, drives innovation, energy efficiency and cost savings for customers that use LED products, systems and solutions. Fitted with robust, low-voltage, long-life LED light engines, Lumination solutions deliver world-class, GE-grade performance. For more information, please visit www.led.com.