In its continuing effort to educate operators about sustainability and how best to reduce operating costs in restaurants, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has teamed up with North American LED, an energy-efficient lighting products supplier, to offer LED lighting solutions to the restaurant industry at discounted prices.

“The National Restaurant Association is pleased to partner with North American LED to offer our members an opportunity to purchase highly energy efficient lighting at a reduced price,” says David Matthews, executive vice president, innovation & membership advancement for the NRA.

“Through our Conserve Sustainability Education Program, the Association has been working diligently to help restaurateurs better understand the financial and environmental advantages of implemented good practices,” he adds. “By working with North American LED, we are moving one step closer toward helping restaurateurs be more energy efficient in a cost-effective way.”

Lamon Elrod, president and CEO of North American LED, says, “We are very excited to work with the National Restaurant Association to offer these sustainable, energy-efficient products to members of the restaurant industry.

“The overall value of using LED lighting is clear and simple: It is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. With utility rebates available in many states and energy cost savings that can amount to thousands of dollars a year, the value is built in,” he continues. “By installing LED lighting at their restaurants, we think operators can save between 50 percent and 75 percent in annual energy costs for lighting while reducing emissions from power plants, too.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, lighting accounts for 13 percent of an average full-service restaurant’s energy bill. Switching out old incandescent bulbs for LEDs can significantly cut into this energy cost, saving a restaurant more than $400 a year by switching ten bulbs to LEDs.

EPA research also indicates that not only do Energy Star–qualified bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescents, qualified lighting lasts 10–50 times longer than traditional bulbs.

Fewer bulb replacements mean fewer bulbs going to the landfill, less time replacing bulbs, and more time and money that can be spent on running the restaurant business.

In addition to offering the lighting products at a special rate to NRA members, North American LED is offering all operators a 12+1 program on all LED Lighting in its catalog (Phillips, InVision LED, or Viribright): Purchase 12 LED light bulbs and receive one free.

The 12+1 offer is valid through May 31, 2013.

North American LED also has a savings calculator that restaurant operators can use to not only calculate annual energy-cost savings, but an estimated state rebate amount and three-year outlook analysis as well.