Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hy-Vee, completed a major sustainability project at their Ankeny, Iowa, distribution warehouse. SmartWatt Perishibles picking

Their new SmartLighting system, designed and installed by SmartWatt Energy, Ballston Lake, N.Y., is estimated to save more than $74,000 per year in energy and coincidence cooling savings. The project will have the equivalent effect on the environment as planting 333 acres of trees, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculations.

“Sustainability projects allow us to operate more efficiently while improving the environment for future generations,” says Jim Brandt, senior vice president of warehousing at PDI. “Our parent company had a great experience working with SmartWatt on their SmartLighting project. Like them, we were impressed with the ease of the process and the results.”

After performing a construction-grade energy audit and completing a value-engineered design of the Ankeny facility, SmartWatt’s Chicago-based team installed a SmartLighting project that replaced 722 T-8 fluorescent lighting fixtures with 351 energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures, while adding motion-based lighting controls. Their goals were to help PDI decrease energy usage and improve the efficiency of their facilities.

Due to the superior performance of the new lighting system, SmartWatt was able to install fewer lighting fixtures, further reducing PDI’s energy consumption and environmental impact, while providing a better quality and quantity of light. This project was eligible for a substantial energy efficiency rebate from PDI’s utility, MidAmerican, bringing the project payback period down to just nine months.