Kenco's warehouse sensors adjust bulbs to outdoor lighting

Kenco's warehouse sensors adjust bulbs to outdoor lighting

February 24th, 2012 by Carey O'Neil in Business Around the Region

Deni Albrecht, leader of sustainability at Kenco, left, and Mike Schinaman, with Orion Energy, use an iPhone to adjust lights before demonstrating the lighting system to a few employees Wednesday at Kenco Management Services.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

• What: Energy-saving lighting installations

• Company: Kenco Logistic Services

• Location: Kenco's distribution center, 650 Wauhatchie Pike

• How does it work? The distribution and warehousing company installed energy-efficient, high-intensity fluorescent lights hooked up to light sensors. The sensors adjust warehouse lighting, automatically dimming when sunlight pours through the warehouse skylights and increasing light intensity at night and on cloudy days.

• How it's green? Reduced light intensity means less electricity consumption. The system is expected to be 70 percent more efficient than the old lighting array. Deni Albrecht, head of Kenco's sustainability programs, expects the array to save about 670,000 kilowatt hours annually.

• Why do it this way? Kenco and several of its customers try to make environmental sustainability a priority. Andy Smith, the company's chief operating officer, said Kenco tries to find a balance between helping the environment, saving money and improving the work experience for employees. The new lighting system will make the work environment nicer, he said. "It is literally night and day."

• What's the cost? About $285,000. After government incentives and rebates, Kenco expects to recover its investment in 18 months with about $62,000 in annual energy savings.

• Advice for others considering green initiatives: Find the sweet spot between employee satisfaction, sustainability and cost. "You can go broke going green," Albrecht said. The trick is in finding a way to operate the business that makes sense in all three categories.