said Barman. A tax credit from Oregon’s green-friendly Energy
Trust Fund helped. And solar panels he installed on the store’s
roof also help reduce his energy usage. “But even if we didn’t
have the solar panels, we would realize a five-year payback on
the lighting,” said Barman.
Passing the Test
If you leave Beaverton and head way down the coast to
sunny Ventura, California, you may ultimately find yourself
filling up at College Shell, which has been owned by Pragnesh
Desai since the late 1990s. The store’s six fueling islands—five
for gasoline and one for diesel—are beneath two canopies, one
on the front and one on the side.
Desai did a major remodel in 2004, well before LED was
commercially available. By 2009, however, he was ready to
move to the new generation of lighting. To be more precise, he
was at least ready to consider it. The promised energy savings
were appealing, but before he went “all in,” he decided to
test the technology, starting with just four lights on the store’s
smaller side canopy. He even kept the old lights connected—
just in case he wasn’t happy with the result.
The test he had envisioned didn’t take long. As soon as
the LED lights went up, Desai was sold. In his words, the
experience was “like seeing everything in high definition.”
And before long, it was clear that the store’s energy usage
was definitely going down. So, he soon installed the lights
on the larger canopy in front of the store. Next he replaced
40 fluorescent tubes on the building with LED strips. Most
2 6 | PEI.ORG | Second Quarter 2012
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