Updated to include the correct funding source: the state’s Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP).
Story and photos by Larry Vogel
The Point Edwards development has partnered with Snohomish County PUD and the State of Washington in a massive lighting retrofit project projected to cut the complex’s energy use by more than half.
“We’re replacing all our common area lighting with energy-efficient LED (light emitting diode) fixtures,” said Eric Moss, Point Edwards Facilities Manager. Projected to save more than 250,000 kilowatt hours per year, the project saves enough energy to power 22 average homes for a year (according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration).
“It’s like having a small generating plant right here in Edmonds,” Moss said.
And the savings go beyond energy conservation. LEDs last much longer than conventional lights. This means fewer change-outs and fewer burned-out fixtures, many of which contain mercury and other hazardous materials, in the waste stream.
“The savings from not having to replace lamps as they burn out is about the same as the avoided electricity costs,” Moss said. “This in effect doubles our savings from the project.”
Most of the project costs are covered by the State of Washington’s Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) administered by Washington State University Energy Extension. Point Edwards picks up about 10 percent of the cost, but the energy savings from the project will pay these off in less than a year.
“We’re really proud that in addition to cutting our own electric bill, we’re helping to postpone the day when a new power generating plant will be needed. A kilowatt hour saved is no different than a kilowatt hour generated, but comes without damming a river, splitting an atom, or burning a single lump of coal,” Moss added.