Lighting upgrades match the mission of Frontier Cooperative
Member-owned since 1976, Frontier Co-op, a wholesaler of natural products headquartered in Norway, Iowa, prides itself on specializing in sustainably sourced and organic ingredients when it comes to its product lines. However, Frontier Co-op does not stop with the products it produces; it aims to carry the same business model throughout its membership, facilities, and day-to-day operations. Nourish people and the planet. Always be fair. These are core to the mission of Frontier Co-op.
Given these values, it’s not surprising that Frontier Co-op has been working to upgrade its lighting to more energy-efficient fixtures over the last few years. The project culminated in January when ECI REC’s Member Service Director Adam Albertsen presented a rebate check for $30,492 to Vice President of Operations Jen Olsen, Project Engineer Jason McGriff, and Public Relations Manager Anne Rierson.
Frontier Co-op laid the groundwork for lighting upgrades in the fall of 2015, working with area contractors and ECI REC. The energy-efficient lighting upgrades installed include 117 high-bay fixtures, 32 outdoor fixtures, and 2,486 4-foot LED lamps. The project was completed over the course of five months in 2016, and ECI REC rebate forms were submitted. “With three production shifts, there was a lot of weekend work, but overall the project went really smoothly!” said McGriff.
There were several factors that led Frontier to implement such an extensive lighting upgrade. “Sustainability was number one,” according to McGriff, who led the project. “Though there is a large upfront cost in doing such an upgrade, the research, projected cost savings, and overall benefits made it evident it was the right thing to do.”
By upgrading the light fixtures in the production and warehouse areas from less efficient fluorescent fixtures and lamps to LEDs, Frontier Co-op will save an average of 46% on its lighting costs. “Staying on top of our electric usage is important—running three production shifts, electricity is one of our major expenses,” said McGriff. “Energy-efficiency improvements are a responsibility and part of maintaining sustainability.”
In addition to cost savings, employee feedback has been very positive. The Frontier Co-op team is enjoying the brighter production area and overall work environment throughout the facility. Another energy efficiency-project on the radar for the Co-op is investigating efficiency opportunities with compressed air equipment.
If your business is looking to implement energy-efficiency upgrades in 2017, feel free to contact ECI REC’s Adam Albertsen in the Member Service department at ext. 503, or visit ecirec.coop for more information.
Lighting Upgrade Benefits for Frontier Cooperative
- Longer life span of new lighting and LED products
- More energy efficiency
- Less glass in the production area (important for food industry)
- Reduced inventory and more shelf space
- Less material handling
- Reduced maintenance time to replace bulbs
- More room in breaker panel
- Better light output
- Reduced UV output
- A safer parking lot