Midco earns more than $60k in rebates for LED lighting
When it came time for Midco International to upgrade its lighting, it was hoping to secure some energy efficiency incentives to help fund the project. What looked at first to be a straightforward replacement of an array of newer and old fixtures became a project that not only netted Midco tens of thousands of dollars in incentives and lower utility bills, it delivered a significantly better working environment with modern LED technology.
Midco International Inc. is a world leader in power burners with rich history of innovative designs and a strong commitment to customer service. Midco initially expected to upgrade and replace its Chicago manufacturing facility’s mixed-bag of light fixtures, uniformity was lacking, and the fixtures were tough to clean and maintain.
“Most of our lighting was really outdated – our stockroom was like walking into a dungeon,” says Carly Stanger, Vice President of Human Resources, Midco International.
Sustainable Lighting Solutions (SLS) President Mike Sweitzer notes that the company needed the correct solution. The “mixed bag” of lighting included newer T5 and T8 fluorescent with old metal halide which together resulted in a combination of too much or too little light. In some places, lighting – well purposed for a warehouse setting with 50-foot ceilings – had been installed into Midco’s facility with 16-foot ceilings.
Midco called SLS for a quote on updating to more modern fluorescents, only to learn that SLS had an even better option in mind to help the company:
- Earn incentives to help fund the project,
- Save tens of thousands of dollars annually on ongoing energy and maintenance costs, and
- Deliver superior lighting that was correct for the facility.
Sweitzer notes that today’s commercial LEDs are not like yesterday’s under-the-kitchen-cabinet lighting. The color is correct, and when expertly installed their span and cover is noticeably better than fluorescents. They are easy to install and clean, making them ideal for food grade and manufacturing facilities. But not everyone has experienced modern LED technology.
“We weren’t convinced that the quality and the color of light were right for us,” says Stanger. “SLS offered to run a test for us.” SLS installed four fixtures so Midco could see how the light worked in its space. “We were all pretty astonished at how good they looked,” adds Stanger.
Midco machine operators immediately commented on the quality of the light, noting that it was brighter and they could see better. “Once the test lights were installed we had buy-in from our employees,” says Stanger. “We were excited to learn about the lower energy and operating costs. We don’t have to re-bulb all the time and it is so easy to clean the fixtures. That was a bonus that saved a lot of maintenance time and money.”
SLS also installed sensor technology to reduce energy even further by dimming lights in unused areas. The LED upgrade enabled Midco to qualify for substantial energy efficient rebates from ComEd as well as City of Chicago grants, which together totaled more than $60,000. SLS estimates that its lighting and energy solution will save Midco more than $20K annually, slashing its lighting costs by two-thirds.
While SLS understands that the easiest path is to bid exactly what a customer requests, Sweitzer says it is important to use lighting and energy expertise to offer customers the ‘best’ solution.
“With every project we want our customers to save money, but more than anything we want to deliver better light,” Sweitzer says. “When you recommend the best product for each project it requires taking the right steps to help the customer understand why it’s the right solution.”
Stanger said the approach worked. SLS’s willingness to install test lights showed Midco the benefits of an alternative solution and helped it win the job.
“SLS did its homework,” Stanger says. “Choosing SLS was the right thing to do. They were really responsive and everyone was very professional and a pleasure to work with.”
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