Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bright Idea: Government Agencies See Savings from Efficient Lighting

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bright Idea: Government Agencies See Savings from Efficient Lighting

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - New technology is driving government agencies to make the switch to more efficient light bulbs, saving watts and wads of cash. And one of the state's utilities is paying businesses and governments to opt for energy-saving lighting.

For the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, replacing old bulbs with the latest light-emitting diode products was a way to demonstrate its commitment to energy conservation, said Fenton Rood, land protection division assistant director.

The agency's building manager, Phil Sanger, spearheaded a recent project to retrofit five light poles in its visitor parking lot. The agency replaced 11 high-pressure sodium bulb pods with seven new LED pods. The project cost $6,020, but will save $2,326 per year in electricity costs. The switch also qualified for a $560 rebate from Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.

A new, cost-effective type of LED bulb helped make the agency's recent project attractive because of the short payback period, Rood said. It will take less than two years to recoup the return on investment, according to an analysis provided by Price Edwards & Co.

Oklahoma City has also retrofitted light fixtures at 16 fire stations. T.O. Bowman, the city's interim sustainability director, said the initiative was driven by the bottom line: Saving electricity saves money. General Services Division employees replaced outdoor lights with induction lights and indoor lights with screw-in LED bulbs.

The city spent about $49,000, including a 20-percent matching grant from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Oklahoma City will save about $8,300 per year in electricity costs for the induction lamps and $3,600 for the LED lamps. It will take about four-and-a- half years to recoup the investment, Bowman said.

Though Oklahoma City did not apply for OG&E's rebates, the utility's energy efficient lighting program for commercial and industrial customers is so popular that demand outstripped the supply, OG&E spokeswoman Kathleen O'Shea said. …

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