T5 retrofit for commercial buildings | Energy saving
Energys Group
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Garden Centre saves 4 tonnes of carbon through innovative lighting upgrade

Hillier Garden Centre in Liss, Hampshire has reduced its lighting energy use by a staggering 44%, as a result of a project to replace its old fluorescent lamps with energy-efficient equivalents using the retrofit converter device, ‘Save It Easy®’ from Energys Group.

Part of a network of 14 Hillier sites across the country, Liss’s Hillier Garden Centre is set in a beautiful area of countryside near Petersfield. It provides gardeners with a wide array of plants, trees and tools and furniture selection. Keen to be ‘green’ in more than one sense, Hillier has a history of environmental care and a long-term commitment to sustainability. Due to the horticultural nature of the business, its focus in the past has been concentrated upon improving water management, reducing waste and finding alternatives for peat, but energy efficiency has also become a new mandate.

“As a company, Hillier is very environmentally-conscious,” comments Chris Rawlings, Hillier’s Liss Garden Centre Manager. “At our main container nursery, Hillier has an extensive water filtration system that won us a national water ‘Waste Watchers’ award. However, in addition to water efficiency, we increasingly recognise the importance of energy efficiency. At the Liss Garden Centre, we were keen to identify any areas where we could save energy.”

When Hillier discovered that there were retrofit options available that would allow them to exchange their existing fluorescent lamps for new, energy-efficient T5 equivalents, while retaining the existing fittings, it seemed like a win-win situation.

“Our old lighting consisted of pre-existing 8ft, old-style lighting tubes. They were very expensive, tended to go dull quickly – requiring the hassle of regular maintenance – and they produced a rather yellow light,” says Mr Rawlings. “Not only was this an area of energy waste, but as a garden centre that welcomes hundreds of customers a day, seven days a week, we needed good-quality lighting as a priority.”

In total, 64 lamps were replaced with energy-efficient equivalents, using retrofit converter, Save It Easy from low-carbon specialist, Energys Group. Use of Save It Easy removed the usual need to rip out and replace fittings that didn’t match the physical and technical specifications of the high-tech, energy-efficient lamps. The new-style lamps, in combination with the more efficient control gear in the Save It Easy units, resulted in a 44% reduction in the amount of electricity required to power the lighting.

“We were concerned that an extensive lighting replacement project might cause problems on the shop floor, but because the Save It Easy converters simply slot into the existing fittings, this was not the case at all,” comments Mr Rawlings. “The installation was quickly carried out by Energys Services Ltd with little or no disruption to staff or trading.”

As a result of the lighting upgrade, the garden centre is set to save £1,019 every year on its electricity costs, which means that the project will pay for itself in just one year and four months. The good news for the environment is that Hillier will also cut 4.37 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere each year.

What’s more, Hillier in Liss now enjoys use of modern fluorescent lamps that emit a very bright white light, instead of the old muddy yellow glow. This has improved the appearance of the space, showing off all of Hillier’s products to their best advantage.

“The Save It Easy project has been a great success for the Hillier Garden Centre in Liss,” comments Gavin Skipsey from Energys Group. “In fact, Hillier is so pleased with the energy savings that we are discussing rolling out Save It Easy installations into more of its sites across the country. The potential for creating even more carbon savings is extremely positive.”