Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar LEDs Way With Lighting Retrofit

Posted on Thursday 7th October 2010

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar has always advertised itself as good for the neighborhood, but now this particular Applebee's is good for the environment.

The Applebee's located in Newtown, Pennsylvania, owned by The Rose Group, who has overseen its complete LED lighting retrofit, replacing traditional halogen and fluorescent bulbs with new light emitting diodes (LEDS).

According to the energy audit completed by LED Saving Solutions, the retrofit will save the Newtown Applebee's more than $150,000 in energy costs over the lifetime of the products and abate more than 1.8 million pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere – that's the equivalent of taking 10 mid-size SUVs off the road each year, for ten years.

"We're honored to be selected by The Rose Group to retrofit this first Applebee's restaurant in Newtown," says Charlie Szoradi, founder and president of LED Savings Solutions. "This move to sustainable, ultra-energy-efficient LED lighting exemplifies their forward-thinking approach to environmental stewardship and is an excellent model for the entire national category of casual dining family restaurants."

According to Szoradi, "Our engineers and account managers worked closely with The Rose Group and their restaurant management team to determine the best solution using LEDs. Matching aesthetics and the correct color temperature are key. Finding a solution that could dim appropriately also allows the restaurant to enjoy both mood and quality lighting. We were extremely impressed by the commitment of our clients to their customers, and the neighborhoods they serve."

Excitement about the new lighting appears to be coming from both the corporate and restaurant levels. Jeff Warden, CEO and President of the Rose Group, says, "We're thrilled to work with LED Savings Solutions to help our restaurants evolve from traditional, energy-intensive lighting to more sustainable LED lighting that will provide the same sort of dining comfort, be better for our shared environment, and save on energy costs of the restaurant for many years to come. It's the kind of simple, long-term beneficial change our industry needs."

Bill Reed, general manager of the Applebee's in Newtown, says he and his staff really like the new LED lighting. "LSS helped us find just the right light tone for a comfortable dining experience. The bulbs are always very cool, silent, and will last ten times longer than other types of bulbs. We're looking forward to seeing the savings with them."

Saving energy on lighting is one of the easiest ways to reduce your electricity bill. Although the energy consumed by lighting is not a line item on the electricity bill, on average it accounts for 22% to 30% of commercial energy consumption. Every $100,000 spent on electricity generally translates into approximately $22,000 to $50,000 spent on lighting.

According to information gathered from the US Census, the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Star, and various private sector reports, there are over 349,000 Food Service Buildings in America, taking up approximately 1,851,000,000 square feet. These buildings are typically operational 84 hours per week (4,368 hours per year) and consume 12 Billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year for lighting use. LEDs are by far the most sustainable light choice as they consume 50%-80% less energy, can last 2-3 times longer than fluorescents, and do not contain any mercury.

If every Food Service Building followed the lead of the Newtown, PA Applebee's and underwent an LED retrofit it would result in $636,000,000 of annual savings on operating costs and remove 4,134,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year – that's the equivalent of taking 689,000 SUVs off of the road. Given the operational hours of Food Service buildings, an LED bulb would be capable of lasting over 11 years. Since fluorescent tube lighting in the same application would have to be changed anywhere from 3-6 times within that 11 years, a substantial amount of money could be saved both in materials and labor by switching to LEDs.

To create a more holistic picture of how a lighting retrofit of all Food Service Buildings could impact the environment it is helpful to look at the lifecycle savings that can be realized through an LED retrofit. Based on the lifetime expectancy of the LED lights there is a projected industry savings of $7,280,219,780 and the removal of 47,321,429 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere over the life of the bulbs. Since the range of LED products on the market can match just about any lighting need – from color temperature to color quality – hopefully many other restaurants will follow suit to save money and the environment.

For the Rose Group, who own and operate 59 Applebee's and 4 Corner Bakeries throughout the MidAtlantic Region, the possibility of expanding the use to LED lighting to the other 58 Applebee's franchises is on the table. An expansion of that magnitude would have a massive impact on energy savings among the neighborhoods throughout the region.

For now, however, both GREENandSAVE and The Rose Group are simply enjoying the debut of the new green restaurant in Newtown, PA and are tracking the savings. Quality green dining: It's a whole new neighborhood.

About The Rose Group The Rose Group, headquartered in Newtown, PA, is the 34th largest restaurant franchise company in the United States. They currently own and operate 59 Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware. The company is the first franchisee for Corner Bakery Cafe, operating four cafes in Eastern Pennsylvania. The Rose Group also co-owns and operates The Shannon Rose, an independent Irish pub and restaurant in North Jersey.

About LED Saving Solutions
LED Savings Solutions (LSS) is a national energy reduction company specializing in LED lighting. LSS established groundbreaking international production and financing relationships that help reduce up-front costs to $0 for property owners. Their ‘best-of-breed' approach is based on comprehensive auditing, savings reports, lighting design, and matching the most cost-effective next generation lighting products with the needs of their clients. LED lights can reduce the electricity cost of lighting by 50% to 80% and can last up to 80,000 hours. The company offers clean energy lighting solutions without harmful mercury and focus on client awareness and GROI (Green Return On Investment).

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