IDG Delivers a $360,000 Annual Savings on Energy

In 2014 an industrial plant of a major customer of Industrial Distribution Group embarked on a mission to reduce energy consumption, improve the plant operating environment and reduce lighting maintenance on an older, inefficient lighting system. The IDG Site Manager of that plant, Patricia Cheely, was challenged with developing a project that would meet the objectives listed above and give a return on investment of less than 24 months. Patricia, teamed up with the customer's Facilities/Maintenance Lead, connected with IDG’s technical application resources and began an evaluation of retrofit lighting alternatives. The project resulted in a new energy efficient lighting system and a first year total savings of $360,000.

The plant had an older T12 Fluorescent and High Intensity Discharge lighting system that had been in service for over 10 years. IDG conducted a lighting energy audit and identified 1,537 fixtures throughout the plant that were good candidates for an energy upgrade. In addition, the lighting audit revealed low and inconsistent light levels and uneven fixture placement in certain areas. The older fixtures not only added significant heat to the building, they also were very expensive to maintain. The customer was paying $24,193 annually in material replacement costs alone, not including the price of labor.

After reviewing the application and looking at lighting technologies from IDG’s broad supply base, the project team ran turn-key lighting retrofit proposals for several different lighting options. They also met with the local gas and electric company to discuss utility incentives for energy efficiency projects. Reviewing and understanding the maximum rebate options for energy efficient lighting and fixture mount occupancy sensors was critical to designing the best solution.* It was determined that a new high-bay fluorescent lighting system utilizing T5 and T8 fixtures with GE Lighting Systems electronic ballasts and high-efficiency lamps provided the best solution. Looking to further reduce costs, the team decided that fixture mounted occupancy sensors in the proper applications would provide additional energy savings.

IDG put together a business proposal covering all aspects of the new lighting system. The proposal included the total cost for materials and installation, energy and HVAC savings, the utility rebate, the material cost for maintaining the old system, and the environmental impact of installing a new energy efficient lighting system. It was determined that between the utility rebate, the annual energy savings, and the reduction of materials replacements, Trane would save $360,000 annually and their money spent would be paid back in less than 5 months.

Environmental Impact

The new energy efficient lighting system reduced carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) by 3,309,090 lbs, sulfur dioxide emissions (SO2) by 12,987 lbs and nitrogen oxide emissions by 6,375 lbs. This environment savings equates to planting 410 acres of new forest or removing 288 cars from US highways.

The Total Package

The new energy efficient lighting system has delivered energy savings, improved the work environment, reduced maintenance costs and provided Instant On Lighting (IOL) in the event of a power loss. The system warranty includes a 3-year warranty on the GE energy efficient lamps and a 5-year warranty on the GE ballasts. Lighting foot-candle levels have increased; occupancy sensors provide local fixture control; and the maintenance, material and labor have been significantly reduced.

For more information on IDG energy and lighting services or to discuss other process improvement projects contact:

Don Cole
IDG Director of Operations-Ingersoll Rand
Phone: 513.227.9372


Jeff Greene
IDG Director of Process Innovation
Phone: 704.450.8880

*IDG maintains a national database on energy rebates including utility, Federal and State incentives. For more information, contact Jeff Greene at

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