- July 31, 2008 - 5:59 PM
The Chipotle Mexican Grill opening at the Mall of America today is the chain's first restaurant designed with energy-saving LED lighting technology from the beginning.
Chipotle design director Scott Shippey said the chain in November 2007 began working with Eco-Story, a manufacturer of next-generation LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, which uses a fraction of the energy of incandescent options.
"They finally cracked the formula to use LED lighting in dining and retail situations," Shippey said. Eco-Story developed a five-watt LED lamp for Chipotle that mimicked the distinctive look of Chipotle's standard 50-watt light bulb. Each Chipotle restaurant might use 40 to 60 of those $4 incandescent bulbs. The new LED bulbs cost $35, but they are expected to last six to eight years before the light quality dims and they need replacement. Shippey says a Denver restaurant that was retrofitted with the new lights expects to save $900 to $1,000 a year on electricity. The return on investment in the new lights is about 12 months.
"If we can cut our energy consumption on any facet of our stores, it's something we can get excited about," Shippey said. He expects LEDs to be in the overwhelming majority of new restaurants next year.
PATRICK KENNEDYExxon beats its own record
Exxon Mobil Corp. posted a 14 percent increase in second-quarter net income Thursday, boosted by high oil prices that more than offset a significant decline in production and weak refining earnings.
The world's largest publicly traded oil company reported profit of $11.68 billion, or $2.22 a share, up from $10.26 billion, or $1.83 a share, a year earlier. The latest quarter includes a tax charge of $290 million, or 5 cents a share, relating to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to greatly reduce punitive damages the oil giant must pay concerning the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
The Irving, Texas, company again set the standard for the highest profit of any U.S. company. It broke its own record of $11.66 billion earned in the fourth quarter last year.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
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