We go out for multiple bids and time and again, Premier has come through with the best bid. They’re not just a low cost provider; the service has always been there: they give us a quote and they finish the project on budget and on time.
Our clients make their own decisions about vendor relationships, but I feel confident about putting my clients in touch with Premier – I feel secure about stepping back and letting them discuss options because of what my clients tell me about their Premier experience. A tenant we’re currently working with recently chose Premier after bidding several lighting retrofit companies; one of my largest tenants recently told me that utility bills have gone down a third – just as Premier claimed they would.
Premier is quick to respond to our needs, and from what I can tell, they consistently provide our clients with brighter lighting and more energy efficient equipment.”
We got to know Premier through the Minnesota Association of Church Facility Managers, which is a networking group that includes over 60 churches and another 30 to 35 vendors, including Premier Lighting. A Premier representative contacted me saying he thought he could save us some money; we called him and since then, Premier has saved us a bundle. We’re using less energy and saving a lot of money doing it.
“Premier is saving us an awful lot of money on the bulbs and fixtures themselves, but they are also really knowledgeable of rebate programs in our areas and how to get the most out of those programs. There are other companies that don’t promote these rebates, but Premier has really looked out for our best interests. For example, I put in a large order and Premier helped us get a rebate of 50% of the total project cost, which brought the final cost down significantly.
“Right now, we’re interested in long term cost and energy savings. Premier has been really good about putting togetheran actual document in my hands that tells me what we are saving per month and per year. By switching our bulbs,Xcel Energy estimates that we will have an annual savings of over $1500 per year, from just one order. We’ve also gone from 10,000 hour bulbs to 20,000 hour bulbs, basically doubling the life expectancy of the bulb.
“We have been with Premier for a year and the correspondence has been great – and if I believe in someone and think they are doing a good job, I promote them.”
Director of Facilities
We have been doing business with Premier for less than a year and it’s going really well – they’re really helpful and it’s great to work with the people over there. We’ve done two big projects with Premier and we will continue to do business with them for our lighting and electrical needs.
“I started doing energy savings stuff when I came to the district in 2006 and lighting is obviously a huge part of that. The first project we did with Premier involved our gym lights: the payback on that project is a year and a half and after that, we expect to save $26,000 annually – just from the gym lighting retrofit, which also included our district pool. The gym teachers love it! The quality of light is amazing and there is no more shadowing, which means it is a brighter and safer place.
“We also worked with Premier to retrofit the other lights in our building: we switched to 28-watt T8s for all the classrooms and hallways, as well as a lot of our large common areas; we went with a 5000 Kelvin lamp which produces more of a natural daylight color, and a better quality of lighting even though we’ve gone down in watts. We changed about 10,000 lamps and in a year and a half, after the project is paid for, we will be saving $24,000 per year.
“Since we did these projects with Premier, people have really noticed a difference. We’re saving money and increasing safety; we’re going with lighting that keeps kids more alert…we’re noticing cost and energy savings, as well as other advantages you can’t calculate.”
Director of Buildings and Grounds
Chisago School District
My former boss went to a trade show and got a card from Premier; I contacted them and a representative came out and said he had some ideas on how to save money retrofitting some of our buildings. Our first job with Premier involved a parking ramp at corporate headquarters; we retrofitted it with weatherproof fluorescent lights.
“We’ve continued to work with Premier since then. That parking ramp is metered separately, which means you can assess the energy savings immediately. I compare what we paid this time last year to what we’re paying now and the savings is clear.
“They provide good service, competitive pricing – and I’ve found them especially helpful with my energy audits on our buildings in the Twin Cities. I send Premier all my info: how many light fixtures I have and what I want to replace them with; they come back to me with a spreadsheet that clearly lays out the energy savings and the payback. This is great for me because when I present a document like this to my superiors, it basically speaks for itself.
“A lot of companies say they’re going to save you money, but you never really see the savings. Every time we do a project with Premier I see immediate results. I know we’re saving money because I have the proof on the electric bill.”
We spend a lot of money on bulbs every month. About six months ago, a co-worker – who had worked with Premier in the past – recommended we give them a call to have them price out some bulbs; when I sent Premier a master list of everything we use, they came back with pricing that was about $300 cheaper per month than what we were using before.
“We did a retrofit in 2006 and now we’re switching to compact fluorescents, which cost more upfront but are cheaper to run and last a lot longer. I go with the best pricing, but with Premier, service is a lot of it too.
“Premier has been excellent. If I order something late in the day, I have it the very next day – either shipped or delivered personally. In the past, I was waiting a day-and-a-half for stuff – I was running into situations where products I needed kept in stock were being backordered and we just can’t operate that way. Premier not only beat everyone we had price our products; they’ve also come through with better service.”
Director of Engineering
Our company owns ten buildings in the area and Premier provides all the lighting in those buildings. We’ve been working with Premier for about fifteen years.
“Premier’s office is very close to our offices and they have always provided us with good service. They have a detailed filing system; they keep track of all our purchases and they know exactly what products are needed in each of our buildings. We contact them on an as needed basis and they always deliver what we need quickly.
“I have contact with two reps over at Premier and they’re both very professional. Premier has been great to work with:their pricing has held up, they warranty their products, and the service has always been there.”
Cave & Associates
I’ve been with HMS Host for 20 years and I think we’ve used Premier for all those years – I can’t remember using anyone else for lighting. I love working with them and I think they have a great approach. In the last 6 or 7 years we have updated all our lighting in the airport; we have replaced all the old style ballasts and we use a lot of t-8 bulbs now. It’s unbelievable the type of lighting we have here! Making the change to more energy efficient lighting has been a challenge, and Premier has really looked out for our best interests the whole way through.
“A lot of the restaurants, for example, use really hard-to-find fixtures. I remember one fixture in particular that was going to cost about $300 per piece to replace. Our Premier rep did some research and found us a very similar item that cost $35 per piece. That alone saved us thousands. Premier has done a lot of research like that for us and 99% of the time, they’ve found the exact same thing or better.
“We get a great deal with Premier: it’s cheaper, more convenient – I can get whatever I need to find, often times on short notice. I like the way they handle and deal with things and I’ve never had any issues at all – I have a really good relationship with the people at Premier. All the lighting in the airport now is energy efficient and in a lot of cases it was really hard to find the right light. With the research Premier did, we were able to make all the necessary replacements for the best possible price.”
Maintenance Department Manager
They supply us with our bulbs and we have also done a lot of retrofitting with them. My experience with Premier goes back almost 14 years and they have always been there for us – we have a warranty on our retrofit bulbs and they stand by that warranty.
“Premier has always been able to supply us with what we need – there have been situations where maintenance has forgotten to request something and a Premier rep has run across town to get us what we need in time.
“I used to order from another company as well as Premier. Aside from it being more convenient to just order from one vendor, I also find Premier really personable. When you’re dealing with a huge warehouse you just put the order in and that’s that – there’s not a customer service relationship there. With Premier, there are a number of people who I know and who I can call.”
We have a great relationship with Premier. We started working with them 8 years ago and in that time Premier has always found a way to accommodate us.
“We have worked with Premier on some big energy savings projects. The last big project we converted fixtures that used t-12 fluorescent bulbs to t-8 bulbs. Our stores have many fixtures and a retrofit often involves multiple fixture types. We’ve also used Premier for our hotels where again, Premier got us whatever we needed to conserve energy.
“Once in a while I price Premier and they never fault me on that – I stay open with them and they stay competitive with me. From start to finish, I always get good service from Premier; as bulbs are being changed the stores recycle them and Premier is there for the final cleanup, sending boxes in so that we can send the old bulbs out. They know how to solve problems and provide whatever I need in a timely fashion.”
For us, the big push toward energy efficiency was in the later 1990s – but it’s really an ongoing process. We did a lot with fluorescent lighting and LED style lighting, but there are certain areas where we keep the incandescent lights because they are dimmable and I get such good life out of them now. Still, we are able to talk to Premier about rebates and retrofitting for some of our existing lighting in the auditoriums; the reps have been there to survey the lighting and assess what lighting is suitable – especially as things that weren’t around a while ago, like dimmable fluorescents, become available.
“I get a lot of mail from vendors that specialize in lighting and so naturally, I am always checking pricing. We have been with Premier for a lot of years – not just because they are local, but because they are very competitive. It’s one-stop-shopping for bulbs and fixtures, and they make the recycling really easy at a good price.
“My boss’s father started this company and his uncle purchased a chain of theatres on the West Coast before that. I have been here since 1970 and working with Premier for 12 years. For us, it’s not just about going for the rock bottom price.Premier is a thriving local; they know our account; I know the people there and they know me – it’s just a nice way to do business. We share information with other independent theatre operators (we are friendly competitors) and it’s nice to be able to pass along what I feel is a positive experience with Premier.”
Our building is 50 years old and there is always something going on! We have been working with Premier to replace all the lighting in our building with more efficient lighting: new fixtures inside, new parking lot lights, automatic lights, and a quite a bit of retrofitting in our assisted living areas. We have reduced a lot of kilowatts – and with the new fluorescent bulbs, we’re now able to do even more.
“Premier has been very good about handling our requests. We’ve gone to automatic lights and demand controllers and they have definitely held up their end of this transition. They did the research and found a product that works with our objectives, and when we encountered some technical challenges, they identified the problem and sent computer technicians in to fix it. We can call them anytime and get the answer we need.”
Good Samaritan Society
We often need bulbs and fixtures under our mezzanine systems and we’ve been working with Premier for two or three years. I’m very happy with the job they’ve done so far; the Premier reps are helpful and very patient with us and our clients.
“Often times when we do a mezzanine system, we’re working with a specific layout – and with specific customer specifications. We rely on Premier’s expertise from design to implementation – we’re able to respond to certain concerns and specifications because of Premier.
“We recently did a large project in California for a company very concerned about saving energy. When clients come to us with these kinds of concerns, we know we can put them in direct touch with Premier. They helped with the layout and put in fixtures with light sensors that turn themselves off automatically. You can buy fixtures from anyone, but you won’t always get the kind of support that we get from Premier.”
Premier has been with us for 20 years – and in fact, I was hooked up with Premier when we were still Worum Chemical Company. As to why I’ve stayed with them all these years: I buy light bulbs from them, I get good service, and everybody is happy!
“I deal with the same person every time I call Premier; I know her and she knows me – she’s a nice person and we get along well with one another.
“About 2 years ago, we had Premier in to retrofit our east warehouse – we went from incandescent lighting and metal halide to fluorescent lighting. Since the retrofit, I notice a big difference in the quality of the lighting; right now, it looks like a hockey arena over there and that’s how I like it! We’re a chemical distribution facility and really bright, high quality lighting is obviously necessary for what we do.”
Brenntag Great Lakes
We did a lighting project with Premier about a year or so ago at the Schwan Super Rink, which is an 8-sheet ice arena. This was an energy savings project that involved the retrofit of 4 of our ice sheets from HID lighting.
“Since the retrofit, our electric bills have gone down and the hockey and figure skaters comment that lighting is a lot more even – not as spotty. This is the only project we’ve done with Premier so far, but I would definitely consider them for another project in the future.”
National Sports Center
We have ceiling track lighting, and I used to have to get up on a 15 foot ladder to change light bulbs everyday. Since Premier installed new fixtures at our location, I haven’t had to change a bulb (it’s really nice not having to do that anymore!)
“It’s been a general improvement since Premier came in. Aside from not having to change bulbs all the time, the quality of the lighting is better – it’s a lot brighter, which makes the atmosphere a lot better.
“The reps at Premier are great: they came through with everything they said they would, and anytime I had questions, they gave me responses right away. I really appreciated how they kept me informed every step of the way; I always got a call before they came in, letting me know what to expect and when.”
Christina Van Blarcom