Energy Initiatives Deliver Increased Savings and Productivity
Imagine you worked in a dark warehouse, with no natural light and deep rows of shelving that eliminated the spill of light reaching from one aisle to another. That's why Procurity's head office in Winnipeg recently undertook a huge initiative to replace the overhead lighting in their entire 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse. According to Industry Canada, many warehouses have old fixtures in place from the 50's and 60's and don't consider replacing them because of the perception that such initiatives are cost prohibitive.
Procurity's warehouse aisle view with old lighting.
"Not so, as we discovered," says director of Information Technology and E-commerce Rheal Lesage, who when visiting other Procurity locations in Western Canada, noticed how much brighter the newer warehouses in Calgary, Edmonton and Regina were. Upon his return to Winnipeg, he approached Glen Knutson, Procurity's Director of Warehousing & Distribution to look at possible solutions with him.
Knutson and Lesage then undertook a cost/benefit analysis to see if other plausible reasons - beyond the obvious esthetics - could be made for new warehouse lighting. "We determined very quickly that the benefits could have a huge impact on our costs of operating over time..." said Lesage.
Early in 2009, 45 new high-efficiency, high-output lighting fixtures replaced the older 'tube-styled' fixtures. The cost of the new lighting came to approximately $12,000, essentially the same amount as re-lamping (changing the tubes) would have cost over an average 2 year period. This capital expenditure was then completely offset by a Manitoba Hydro upgrade grant for the same amount.
New lighting installation begins in the warehouse.
According to Lesage, "..The new lighting system has 50% more luminosity - that is, they're 50% brighter, and they're 25% more energy efficient." However, he also maintains that since the upgrade a number of other positive benefits have been realized; the bulbs cost approximately $2/per lamp to replace vs. the previous $30/per lamp, they last longer before requiring replacement, no electrician is required for replacement so it can be undertaken using regular warehouse staff, no special disposal is required once they burn out, and finally, the increased visibility in the warehouse is noticible.
"I can't believe the difference..." commented Knutson, "...It is so much better for our warehouse workers, and both our order accuracy and the length of our shift window have improved."
Procurity's warehouse aisle view with new lighting.