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The ROI of Relamping Your Restaurants

Jun 19, 2017 4:16:51 PM

 Patron making a purchase at a restaurant counter

Relamping or an LED lighting retrofit of your restaurant or commercial building is a useful way to reduce overall energy consumption. It's likely that there are lighting efficiency rebates available through your utility, but the project financing will still require scrutiny.

It's great to be thinking about how you can reduce your building's energy consumption. Energy efficiency measures will not only reduce your utility costs, but also help to lessen your business impact on the environment.

Restaurants are particularly energy intensive businesses. The average restaurant uses nearly 300 BTUs per square foot while the average office building uses under 150 BTUs per square foot, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey.

Did you know that your HVAC system uses about FOUR times the amount of energy as your lighting system? Let's compare the ROI on a typical energy efficiency upgrade of each.

The ROI of Relamping vs. the ROI of a Smart HVAC System Upgrade

First, you will want to understand your utility costs per square foot each year. These costs vary and can be well over $2 per square foot, particularly in restaurants. Extrapolate this across a portfolio of restaurants, and we're talking major dollars.

On average, energy consumption in U.S. office buildings costs about $1.51 per square foot, and it costs about $1.19 per square foot in commercial buildings, according to the EIA Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) consume about 44% of energy use in commercial buildings while lighting consumes about 12%.

Next, consider that the typical payback period on relamping is about six years.

By comparison, the typical payback period on a smart HVAC system upgrade is about three years.

When comparing the two, consider that HVAC system efficiency upgrades often qualify for efficiency rebates through your utility that are very similar to LED lighting and other lighting efficiency rebates.

Thinking about relamping? Get the FREE infographic >>

Finally, we're ready for some quick calculations for potential savings, based on client data from one fast-food restaurant location:

  Relamping HVAC Upgrade
Annual kWh Savings

18,000 kWh @ $0.10/kWh

18,000 kWh @ $0.10/kWh

Annual Financial Savings



Installed Cost
(including rebates)



Payback Period 4 years 2.4 years
ROI (after 5 years)

$1,800 x 5 = $9,000

($9,000 - $7,200) / $7,200 = 25%

$1,800 x 5 = $9,000

($9,000 - $4,400) / $4,400 = 105%

ROI (after 10 years)

 $1,800 x 10 = $18,000

($18,000 - $7,200) / $7,200 = 150%

$1,800 x 10 = $18,000

($18,000 - $4,400) / $4,400 = 309%



There are several good reasons to combine a smart HVAC system with an advanced lighting system. Doing so helps to improve the financials of the projects and provides you with a seamless solution for managing two of the most controllable energy consumers in your building. Combining smart HVAC with advanced lighting can reduce your energy costs for these two components by 30% to 50%.

75F builds the capabilities for advanced lighting controls into every smart HVAC installation project we complete. Take a look at out Relamping ROI infographic, then let's talk about the best smart HVAC and advanced lighting systems for your building.


Unlock the Relamping Infographic

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