Q Stop Earns Green Achievement Award

Q Stop convenience stores was honored with the Green Idea Group’s Green Achievement Award for reducing electric power use and costs by 64% after installing a new canopy lighting system at its store in O’Fallon, Mo.

Q Stop, which operates six stores in the St. Louis metro area and is owned by Jones Oil Co., accepted the Green Idea’s Group recommendation to replace 46 320-watt metal halide (MH) lighting fixtures at the O’Fallon Q Stop IV store with 127-watt high intensity fluorescent (HIF) fixtures manufactured by the GreenTech Energy Services Co.

“We were approached by Innovative Facilities Solutions (IFS) about a new lighting package for our gasoline canopy that was capable of giving us significant savings while retaining the same aesthetic look of our stations,” said Q Stop General Manager Rich Berliner. “We had IFS install a block of four lights in March of 2009 and replaced the remainder of the canopy lights in April.”

HIF lighting uses less than half the current of high intensity discharge lighting, including the MH-type Q Stop IV used formerly. The change resulted in a power savings of 58 115-kilowatt hours per year.  According to EPA formulas, such a savings will remove 43.5 tons of carbon dioxide, 320 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 740 pounds of nitrogen oxides—all greenhouse gases—per year from the atmosphere.

What’s more, the reduction’s effect can be compared to an 11-acre growth of mature trees or taking eight cars off the road and is the energy equivalent of saving 5,283 gallons of gas per year.

Watching and Waiting
The Q Stop store acted as a test station for the project and its success is charting how the company proceeds with future lighting projects.

“We had some concerns. Sure we liked the idea of reducing our energy costs, but we had to make sure the lighting was going to be functionally and aesthetically similar to what we had,” Berliner noted.

While the company is pleased with the initial results, it will continue to evaluate the lighting over the long term. “We want to make sure they keep the same look as they age. We also want to see how they operate in different temperatures,” Berliner said.  “So far, so good. We plan to watch them until next spring and make decision on whether to expand the project to our other stores.”

Not only has the company managed to keep the same look, but it is seeing about 7% savings on its electric bill for the store with new lights, while other stores are averaging about a 1% increase.

Berliner estimated the project should pay for itself in about two-and-a-half years at that rate of savings.

Recognized for Energy Efforts
The Green Ideas Group presented Q Stop with the Green Ideas Achievement award to commend its new energy-efficient lighting. The award calls attention to Green Idea Groups’ clients who achieve a significant environmental impact through reductions in energy usage.

Q Stop also received an energy efficiency incentive of $2,400 from Ameren, its local utility, to participate in the project.

“Gas stations are not always recognized for being environmentally responsible. We were able to reduce our energy consumption and save on operating costs,” Berliner said of the award. “It was a win for everyone.”

GREEN IS GOOD: Q Stop General Manager Rich Berliner (above left) accepts the Green Achievement Award from Scott Gabel.

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