Horne Ford Invests in Energy Efficient LED Lighting

With SRP rebate program, Horne Ford’s investment will pay for itself in less than one year

By Dana Trumbull

“It’s almost insane, the savings,” declared Steve Ross, co-owner of Flatiron Electric, Inc. He and partner Jim Shields, along with Phoenix Lighting Group (PLG), just completed a five-day lighting refit for Horne Ford at 3400 S. Tomahawk Rd. in Apache Junction. The project replaced the standard light fixtures throughout the business with energy efficient LED lighting. Although the initial investment was substantial ($53,000 after SRP rebate), the company stands to recoup the expense in approximately ten months through savings on energy bills. Over ten years, the ROI is projected to be 573%.

“We’ve looked at this four or five times over the last six or seven years,” shared Horne General Manager Mike Housh. “We just felt the timing was right with the more robust economy of late, so we felt comfortable moving forward with the initial expenditure. Seeing the true cost-savings, it’s really a no-brainer.

“There’s an environmental factor to it, too” added Housh. “If we don’t have to put as much coal in the coal generator or as much ‘nuclear’ in the nuclear generator [said with a laugh], that energy can be used somewhere else. We’ve had rolling black outs and brown outs in the summer here in Arizona; everybody’s got to do their part.”

New LED fixtures (right) fit into the same housing as the older lighting (left)

LED also provides a better quality of light. Jeff Rusk, PLG Project Coordinator explained, “It’s very specific where the light pattern goes, so you’re not wasting energy, and it reduces glare, which makes it a good option for areas with dark sky ordinances as well. In that application, we would use more of a yellow light, which reduces the reflection off the ground, so that you can see the stars a lot better, but you can also see where you’re going. A lot of cities are incorporating that now.”

The LED refit has one additional benefit: the LED fixtures are warranteed to last for five years. “In the past, invariably, the electrician would come out on a Tuesday to replace all of the spent bulbs, and then Wednesday, another one would go out, and we’d have to wait a month or two until he came around again to do the maintenance on them,” said Housh. “So, with LED, we don’t have to worry about that for five years.”

According to Energy.gov, LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology that uses at least 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. “Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity. This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each) and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.”

Horne Auto Group owns 11 dealerships, all located within Arizona. Plans are underway to also refit Horne Hyundai, located west of the Ford dealership on the adjacent lot.

Flatiron Electric is located in Apache Junction and is an active member of the AJ Chamber of Commerce.

PLG is based in East Mesa and partners with Flatiron frequently on LED projects.

Photo above: L-R: Jim Shields & Steve Ross, Flatiron Electric; Mike Housh, Horne Ford; and Jeff Rusk, PLG oversee LED refit at Horne Ford

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