Allumia Finances Grocery Store Lighting Upgrade with Efficiency-as-a-Service Model


Allumia funded and installed a new LED lighting system for Hilltop Red Apple, an independent grocery store in Seattle, using Allumia’s efficiency-as-a-service offering. Efficiency-as-a-service is a pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solution that allows customers to implement energy efficiency projects with no upfront capital expenditure. Hilltop had previously upgraded one type of freezer case to LED lighting and was looking to upgrade other areas on a piece-by-piece basis. The efficiency-as-a-service solution enabled Hilltop to upgrade its entire lighting system all at once with no upfront costs and guaranteed net-positive energy and maintenance savings from day one.

Allumia’s service offering includes an M&V system to measure energy savings and transparently calculate the monthly bill. Before any new equipment was installed at Hilltop, Allumia performed an audit to evaluate existing lighting and develop a proposal. Allumia then designed and installed the upgrades, which included LED fixtures and electric submeters to track performance in real time. 

The store runs most of its floor lights 24/7. Allumia tracks the equipment’s electrical consumption for this full-time equipment but also tracks the lighting equipment that is used on variable schedules in portions of the facility, including: produce and meat departments, cases, office and break rooms, and even the dedicated parking lot (additional information on the metering layout can be found here). Allumia uses this data to calculate actual savings achieved and then bills Hilltop for a portion of those savings monthly, to ensure the service is cash flow-positive. Allumia also maintains the equipment for the length of the contract term, allowing Hilltop to spend time and money on other aspects of its business. Allumia’s service term with Hilltop is five years, after which Hilltop will receive 100% of the energy savings and take ownership of the equipment.

Hilltop’s utility bill was reduced from day one and the store is expected to save nearly $150,000 over a 10-year period. Allumia’s upgrades simplified Hilltop’s lighting system by reducing the number of fixture types and models, which will minimize future maintenance time and effort. The data that was generated from the system metering helped give Hilltop’s leadership the momentum to invest in a new refrigeration unit and other efficiency upgrades.

This resource is part of the Better Buildings Efficiency-as-a-Service Toolkit.

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Food sales & service, Grocery store