Graybar PowerSmart® Provides Bunzl with Energy Savings and Efficiencies


Graybar Powersmart provides Bunzl Energy Savings Case Study

Bunzl Distribution operates more than 85 warehouses that serve all 50 states and Puerto Rico, as well as Canada, the Caribbean and parts of Mexico. Bunzl supplies more than 450,000 products including outsourced food packaging, disposable supplies, and cleaning and safety products to food processors, supermarkets, retailers and convenience stores. As the largest arm of the Bunzl corporate family, Bunzl Distribution has implemented several green programs aimed at reducing its environmental impact and energy consumption.

In late 2011, Bunzl met with Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products, with a challenge to deliver a single source, turnkey offering of energy conservation solutions. Not only did Bunzl want technology-driven solutions to reduce energy and operating costs, but it also looked to take advantage of utility incentives as well as any applicable tax deductions through the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005.

Graybar did not have to look far to find a solution for Bunzl. Through Graybar PowerSmart — a comprehensive offering of proven energy-saving solutions that can help facility owners reduce costs and meet environmental goals — Graybar technical specialists assessed Bunzl’s needs. Sandy McCrea, the local Graybar lighting business development manager, worked closely with Bunzl’s corporate director of environmental, health and safety, Denton Bruce, and local Bunzl facility management to provide a solution to meet Bunzl expectations.


Bunzl’s North Kansas City, Mo., location featured a mix of older fluorescent T12 lamps and high-intensity discharge lamps. A preliminary lighting audit performed by Graybar revealed that Bunzl could capitalize on nearly $12,000 of local utility incentives that would expire at the end of 2011. Graybar’s knowledge of local utility incentive programs helped secure an additional $12,000 of incentives for Bunzl in 2012. These incentives covered 25 percent of the total cost of the lighting upgrade. The companies also agreed on changes to further promote safety and increase light levels in some areas of the facility.

Bunzl upgraded the warehouse area of the facility with leading edge technology, including T5HO fluorescent high bay replacements in four- and six-lamp configurations where each fixture had individual occupancy sensors. This achieved a straight demand reduction of 50 percent.

In addition, Bunzl achieved a 10 percent in wattage savings by using GE Ultra Energy Saving Ecolux® T5 High Output 47 Watt-Miser® energy saving lamps. These improvements, coupled with the introduction of high bay sensors, provided a payback to Bunzl in roughly 2.5 years.

In the office areas of the facility, existing lay-in troffers were retrofitted with GE UltraMax ballast, GE Ecolux® UltraMax™ 28 watt energy saving T8 lamps and optimized reflector kits. The warehouse mezzanine areas were also retrofitted to four 28 watt lamps, low power electronic ballasts and strip fixture retrokits.

In addition, the mezzanine fixtures featured Lutron Maestro Wireless® technology. Maestro Wireless is a family of wireless dimmers and switches that installs easily and communicates with Lutron wireless controllers and sensor products via Lutron’s reliable Clear Connect™ Radio Frequency (RF) technology. Graybar and Lutron delivered further savings to Bunzl by controlling circuits rather than individual fixtures in this application.


Thanks to this retrofit, Bunzl’s North Kansas City facility power usage reduced by 275,000 kilowatt hours or 27 kilowatts, reducing their annual electric bill by an estimated $28,000.

Not only did Graybar provide the right products for Bunzl, but it also coordinated the lighting design and labor installation by a local contractor. The solution also included EPAct certification, incentive administration, disposal and recycling of appropriate demolition material and project management.

"Graybar was a pleasure to work with on this project," said Dave Dillbeck, Bunzl’s Manufacturing Manager. "The execution of both the design and installation of the lighting in our production area was very professional."

As a result of this successful project, Bunzl has upgraded an additional facility with Graybar and is considering other facilities slated for improvements in 2013. That’s how Graybar works to your advantage.

Bunzl Distribution

Business Needs

Bunzl's goal was to find a distributor that could provide a single source, turnkey offering of energy conservation solutions for its facility in North Kansas City. Because Bunzl and Graybar are both based in St. Louis and are members of the National Association of Wholesalers (NAW), Bunzl knew Graybar had the capabilities to achieve a successful outcome.

Networking Solution

Graybar upgraded the warehouse area of the facility with leading edge technology and retrofitted lighting in office and warehouse mezzanine areas, while capitalizing on nearly $24,000 of local utility incentives.

Business Value

Thanks to this retrofit, Bunzl's North Kansas City facility power usage reduced more than 275,000 kilowatt hours or 27 kilowatts, reducing their annual electric bill by $28,000.


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