Guitar Center

At a Glance


Retail and Apparel

Project Types

Clean and Renewable Energy, Commercial Energy Efficiency, Industrial Energy Efficiency




West Lake Village, CA


Spencer Middleton analyzed efficiency projects for retail stores including LED lighting and assessed the potential of on-site solar at Guitar Center’s corporate headquarters.


Guitar Center, the world’s largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ and lighting equipment, enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Spencer Middleton to assist in identifying cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption in the company’s 269 retail stores. Guitar Center had implemented successful energy initiatives in the past, such as HVAC controls, and wanted Middleton to help identify other opportunities for energy and cost savings for the retailer.


By analyzing energy data from facilities across Guitar Center's real estate portfolio and interviewing facilities staff, Middleton identified five stores in California for energy audits. After visiting the most and least energy-intensive stores in the state, Middleton determined that upgrading the general lighting in the stores was the most promising opportunity for improvement. Retrofitting with LED’s could have a large impact on operating costs because LEDs would reduce energy consumption and the need for bulb replacement, since LEDs last longer than florescent lights. Middleton also recommended low-cost opportunities, such as retrofitting older stores with LED exit signs and occupancy sensors, as well as daylight harvesting in the warehouse at the corporate headquarters. Additionally, Middleton assessed the feasibility of on-site solar generation at the corporate headquarters.

Potential Impact

Middleton presented his findings to Guitar Center's CFO, and as a result, a pilot site for the LED retrofit is being considered.

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