Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010 - (Page 10)

S T O RE DE S IG N LET THERE BE (ENERGY EFFICIENT) LIGHT Energy efficiency retrofits bring savings and visual appeal to retail operations, while reducing energy usage. BY ROSALIND STEFANAC P H OTO S C O U R T E SY O F TO R O N TO H Y D R O Roy and Darren Perlman wanted to reduce the footprint of Sunrise Records’ flagship store. Toronto Hydro worked with them to reduce their energy use and cost. arren Perlman knows one thing for sure: as an environmentally conscious retailer, he doesn’t want to leave his carbon footprint. So when he caught wind of a Business Incentive Program (BIP) offered through his local electricity provider, Toronto Hydro, he was intrigued. “I went online, filled out a form on their website and they contacted me and got the ball rolling.” Perlman, who is a systems analyst for Sunrise Records, says Hydro provided a pretty convincing reason to do a lighting retrofit of the company’s f lagship store in downtown Toronto through its representative Bill Scott. “We thought it would be a lot more expensive,” says Perlman who operates the business with his father Roy, President of Sunrise. “But when [Scott] brought in the lights and calculated the wattage and we saw how much we could expect to save in kilowatts, it didn’t take much to convince my father to do this.” The retail space, consisting of 4,000 sq. ft. on the main f loor and 1,400 sq. ft. on the second, has gone from using a total of 18.72 kW to 4.78kW, with approximate savings in electricity of $425 a month. “The best thing is that our customers noticed right away and it created a buzz,” says Darren. “Everything looks brighter and more inviting. It almost feels like a new store.” In fact, he says traffic has increased in the long, narrow store because customers are going all the D way to the back and staying longer to shop. The retrofit has even inspired many Sunrise employees to switch to energy efficient lighting at home as well. Under Ontario’s new Green Energy Act, which was passed in 2009, there is a real push to increase conservation and boost investment in renewable energy programs. New renewable energy projects already in place or under construction in Ontario since 2003 represent a total investment of more than $4.6 billion. The BIP program was launched in 2007 in partnership with the Ontario Power Authority and Scott, a CDM Technical Sales Executive at Toronto Hydro Electric System, says programs for both commercial and residential customers are evolving and growing. The Perlman’s are now collaborating with Hydro to determine how best to retrofit the remaining stores in the chain, including Jean Machine, which had new lighting fixtures installed about a year ago. “The capital cost of those fixtures will take four years to recoup,” says Roy. “I’m interested in going green, but being in the retail sector I need to see a payback in investment ideally within a year.” Scott is working to find lighting that is economical but won’t hinder the look of the product. “It can’t be too bright as there has to be ambience, but at the same time it has to display the true color of the denim,” says Roy. 10 | C A N A D I A N R E TA I L E R | M A R C H /A P R I L 2 010 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010

Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010
Publisher’s Desk
Shop Talk
Store Design
In Your Interest
Environmental Sustainability: Back to Basics
Human Resources Supplement
What's Your Impact?
Retail Eco-Consciousness
Greening the Industry
Retail Profile
Advertisers’ Index
At Issue

Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010