What Am I Thankful For? LED Lighting!

At the most recent Sierra Business Council staff meeting, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, my colleagues and I were asked what we were thankful for. Many mentioned being thankful for their work they do, living in the Truckee Tahoe region, seeing the impacts of their work on the Sierra, and having the opportunity to work with such hard working and passionate individuals. It was a heartwarming and inspiring meeting that led me to really reflect on what I am thankful for in my work with SBC.

SNEW Ad ShutterstockImage 2014 10 copyWhat I found I am truly thankful for is LED Lighting and, no, it’s not a joke! It truly is a blessing that through our lighting rebate program, Sierra Nevada Energy Watch (SNEW), local Sierra Nevada businesses can invest in energy saving LEDs. I am impressed everyday by the advancement in LED technology and the opportunities for implementing direct and measurable greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Not to mention the money saved on energy bills – that’s something we can all be thankful for!

The Auburn Ford dealership on Grass Valley Highway is the most recent beneficiary of top of the line LEDs. Following the implementation of the 2013 Title 24 California Building Codes, this truly was a flagship project for SBC, SNEW, Auburn Ford, and for Foothill Electric who performed the installation. First off, Auburn Ford took advantage of Pacific Gas and Electric’s zero-percent loan program, On-Bill Financing, and paid no money out of pocket. Not only did they have no out of pocket costs, they received a $22,000 rebate from SNEW and their estimated savings amounts to over $25,000 per year. Zero-percent financing, a $22,000 rebate, and over $25,000 in savings per year, now how could this get any better?

The LEDs installed were subject to the new Title 24 Building Codes that came into effect on July 1st of this year. Title 24 compliance means that each of the fifty fixtures that illuminate the new vehicles came equipped with a motion detector and automatic dimming. When the motion detector detects no motion the LED lights reduce their energy use and brightness by 50% complying with the 2013 Code. The original fixtures were 1080 Watts each and the new LEDs are 320 Watts each, and when there is no motion the LEDs ramp down to 160 Watts each. When no motion is detected that is an 84% reduction in energy use! Almost every exterior light in America has an opportunity for these types of savings. I am truly thankful for LED’s and the opportunity they provide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today.

When you are with your families over the 2014 holiday season, talk to them about the benefits of energy reduction and how LED’s can help. Every person in America has an opportunity to reduce their energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions; it’s up to us to let them know the opportunity exists. Carpe Diem, your friends and family will be thankful you told them about LEDs!