The cost of energy is skyrocketing. Supply cannot keep up with demand, and the electrical grid is dangerously overtaxed. Fortunately, there is a new energy management technology that can dramatically reduce electrical consumption in commercial buildings.
Universal Lighting Technologies developed DCL® to provide immediate, wireless control of every lighting fixture in a building or multiple buildings. DCL gives building owners and managers the power to slash energy use during peak hours. The first DCL customers in California have already reduced utility bills by 25 percent to 30 percent.
Founded in 1884, Ganahl Lumber Company is California’s oldest lumber retailer. Today, Ganahl operates eight stores in Orange County. Ganahl was selected by its utility provider as an ideal candidate for DCL technology in 2005.
Ganahl agreed to install a complete DCL system in its 20,000 sq. ft. retail and office facility in Costa Mesa, California. The installation was performed by Energy Controls & Concepts, Inc. (ECC), an industry leader in the analysis, development, and management of lighting efficiency projects.
DCL (or Demand Control Lighting) allows Ganahl to reduce lighting levels throughout the building with a single command. The DCL control unit communicates with the building’s lighting ballasts at the circuit level in order to reduce power anywhere from 1 percent to 50 percent. The result is significant energy and financial savings.
“I am extremely pleased with the process, execution and results of our lighting conversion done by Energy Controls & Concepts and the products provided by Universal Lighting Technologies,” said Brad Satterfield, General Manager of Ganahl Lumber in Costa Mesa.
DCL Systems use DemandFlex™ ballasts from Universal Lighting Technologies. ECC installed 72 DemandFlex ballasts in two-lamp lighting fixtures on the first and second floors of the Ganahl facility. The DCL system at Ganahl communicates with DemandFlex ballasts on both 120V and 277V circuits. There is no need for additional two-wire low voltage control wiring, as required by other lighting control systems, making DCL a perfect fit for this retrofit project.
DCL technology allows Ganahl to participate in its local power provider’s demand response program. The utility is able to reduce power to the lighting fixtures at the Costa Mesa facility anywhere from 1 percent to 50 percent, depending on its needs during peak hours. Power levels can be reduced by a single command from a personal computer at the utility’s headquarters.
“We have a bright, vibrant store,” said Satterfield. “Any reductions made by the utility company go unnoticed, and the energy savings have more than exceeded my expectations.”
Ganahl Lumber Company can also manage its own lighting levels for energy savings during peak hours. DCL technology gives Ganahl the option of reducing power to its lighting fixtures on demand or by automated scheduling.
During daylight hours, a ten percent reduction in light levels generally goes completely unnoticed by a building’s occupants. Industry surveys reveal that most business owners are willing to accept a 35 percent reduction in lighting levels for short periods of time, generally up to four hours. This can significantly reduce the burden on a local utility during peak hours in addition to lowering energy bills. For this reason, utility companies may provide businesses with rebates and incentives for adopting DCL technology. Ganahl works closely with its power provider to ensure maximum energy savings—a win-win for both companies.
Thanks to DCL technology, Ganahl’s Costa Mesa retail facility reduced its overall power bill by more than 25 percent. The greatest savings were achieved during peak usage hours when the utility charges higher rates because of high demand. The energy savings achieved with DCL satisfied all expectations of the company and the power provider.
“We’re proud to be the first lighting manufacturer to offer business owners and building managers this level of remote power management,” said Chris Dimino, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Development for Universal Lighting Technologies. “Between incentives from utility companies and the financial rewards of reducing power consumption, DCL can provide forward-thinking companies with a rapid return on investment (ROI)—in addition to other practical and environmental benefits.”
For more information on Universal Lighting Technologies, DCL System Controls, and DemandFlex ballasts, call 1-800-BALLAST or visit www.unvlt.com.