We’ve gone in-depth in the past on how we are working to reduce energy usage across our 537 shopping centers. Much of the recent headway in achieving our goals is the result of launching our Illumi-Nation program last year. This year, we entered the second phase of the program, spending over $6 million to upgrade to high-performance LED lighting at 62 of our Tier 1 properties.

Beyond slashing our energy expenses and being more sustainable, we are enhancing the safety and security at night and further improving curb appeal through the improved lighting quality provided by the LED technology. We also leverage the program as an opportunity to further develop a digital platform at our centers upon which we can continue to build innovative technology applications.

Industry recognition

As indicators of our success, we’ve been consistently recognized for our dedication to sustainable operations. Our tenants and patrons have showered us with compliments throughout our portfolio. Recently at Greenbuild International in Los Angeles, Kimco won two Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) awards -- continuing our three-year streak. LEEP, a partnership between the International Facility Management Organization (IFMA), Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), International Parking Institute (IPI), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Department of Energy Better Buildings Alliance, recognizes real estate owners that have achieved exceptional performance in reducing parking facility energy usage.

Kimco’s Nate Mitten, Sr. Manager of Property Standards and Improvements, (third from right) receives two LEEP awards at the 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo at the LA Convention Center.

Kimco’s awards this year were based on our 2016 projects and included an award for “highest percentage energy savings in a retrofit of a parking lot” at Fairway Plaza shopping center in Pasadena, Texas and another award for “largest absolute area of facility upgrades” across the portfolio of projects. These awards continue to affirm the local and national impacts we’re making. Congratulations to our peers that also won LEEP awards this year and a very big thank you to our partners who contribute invaluable effort and expertise.

The scale of the savings

The energy savings achieved from these LED projects are pretty amazing -- especially when they are put in terms that are more easily understood. Our parking lot LED projects last year alone cover a total parking area of about 26 million square feet and result in approximately 5.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy saved each and every year going forward. Let me put it into perspective -- that translates into the same area as 455 football fields, electricity savings equal to 529 average U.S. households, and reduced CO2 emissions of 757 passenger cars! See the EPA’s calculator for other energy conversions.

What’s next?

This year, we’ve been progressing beyond parking lot lighting retrofits to also focus on accent and decorative lighting elements to enhance the appeal of our landscapes, walkways, and buildings.

New decorative walkway lighting at entrance of 280 Metro in Colma, California makes a welcoming and attractive first impression.

We’re even more excited about what’s planned for 2017. Our goals are the same, but next year we hope to take on another 80 projects or more. The Illumi-Nation program is shining bright and will continue to provide substantial benefits to our tenants and patrons long into the future. We’ll keep you posted on progress!