District 1 office earns $85,000 energy rebate for LED lights along I-90

The northern Idaho office of the Idaho Transportation Department recently earned an $85,411 rebate for replacing the light bulbs along Interstate 90 between Washington and Montana with energy-efficient LED lighting that creates better visual clarity for the safety of drivers. The rebate also included the switch to LED lighting in the main department office in Coeur d’Alene.

Pictured above, l to r: Sharmon Schmitt AVISTA, Ryan Hawkins, D1 traffic engineer, Bill Roberson, traffic transportation technician principal, and Rob Nettleton, traffic technician senior. Ryan, Bill and Rob were all instrumental in working with AVISTA and pursuing the rebate. The three worked diligently on the district's qualification for the rebate and coordinating LED installations.

More than 500 traditional bulbs along I-90 were replaced with the new LED lighting, which is expected to save 396,456 kWh annually, amounting to almost $39,000 in savings for taxpayers each year.

The rebate from Avista Corp., part of their Lighting Energy Efficiency Rebate program, will allow ITD to purchase more LED lighting to be used at various locations in Coeur d’Alene, Rathdrum, Hayden, Dover, Sagle and other areas throughout the region. ITD has already made the switch to LED lighting in all of their sand-storage sheds and at the Coeur d’Alene office.

“We are extremely proud of our energy-efficient upgrades, both on the highways and at our main campus,” said District 1 Traffic Engineer Ryan Hawkins. “Not only do LED lights provide greater visual clarity for drivers, but they are much more efficient than the high-pressure sodium lights that we have traditionally used.”

“The department is committed to becoming as efficient as possible and will compound our initial investment by using the rebates earned under these projects to fund additional LED installations. After upgrading the lighting on our system, the annual savings can be used to fund tangible benefits to our customers in the form of safety and operational upgrades.”

The energy savings has an equivalency in the residential world as well.

“The energy savings from this project alone is enough to power about 34 homes for 10 years,” said Avista Account Executive Sharmon Schmitt. 

Published 02-12-16