D-5 capitalizes on rebate program, energy-efficient lights

Rebate check of $29,445 expected from Idaho Power

Project details

Sponsor: Idaho Power Co.
Lighting: Switched from T-12 tubes to T-8 tubes
Savings: $1,100 in April-May;
$800 in May/June
Fixtures replaced: 595
Lamps replaced: 2,600
Cost of fixtures, lamps: $36,362
Rebate: $29,446 (80% of costs)
Consultant: John Sergeant, Electrical Wholesale

Remember when your dad hounded you to turn off the lights when leaving the room to save on the electricity bill?

District 5 took the advice and an Idaho Power Co. energy program, Easy Upgrades, a step farther. And the savings are more than pocket change.

Replacing all of the D-5 Headquarters light fixtures and installing new energy efficient eco-fluorescent light tubes is generated savings of more than a $1,100 on the April/May electricity bill and were $800 less on the May/June bill when compared with the same months the previous year, said Wayne Curtis who oversaw the conversion process.

Idaho Power’s “Building Efficiency for Commercial Construction” program also provides a financial incentive for converting to the new lights. Engineer Ed Bala and Wayne Curtis expect to receive a four-foot, $29,446 rebate check from Idaho Power on Wednesday (July 20). The rebate will cover about 80 percent of the costs of purchasing and installing the new fixtures.

The federal government requires conversion to the new fluorescent tubes by 2012, Curtis explains. Investing early enabled the district to take advantage of the rebate program.

The new lights are producing more than savings, though.

Curtis says employees in the D-5 shops report the lights are brighter and eliminate almost all of the interior shadows. They are about half the diameter of old fluorescent tubes and use less energy but have about the same five-year life expectancy.

Idaho Power estimates the new tubes are at least 10 percent more efficient than code allows. “We are proud to offer these incentives along with other programs for our commercial and industrial customers. Our incentive programs are designed to help you enhance your energy efficiency and boost the bottom line. With these incentives, the economics of an energy-saving project can have a significantly higher return on investment,” the company claims.

D-5’s electricians began the installation in January and finished in April. They expect to do some of the district's outlying sheds this fall.

Published 7-15-2011