From big industry representatives to municipal officials, many of PSNH’s largest commercial and governmental accounts packed the Derryfield Country Club recently for a seminar exploring LED (light-emitting diode) solutions as an energy-saving alternative to traditional incandescent and fluorescent lighting in the workplace.
LaRocca-250by Elizabeth LaRoccaThe topic was so popular, in fact, that “we had to close down registrations because we had such strong interest,” says Jack Schelling, PSNH’s appliance and lighting program administrator.
PSNH along with the member utilities of nhsaves (Unitil, NH Electric Co-op, and National Grid) were hosts for the seminar, which offered a primer of LED terms and standards as well as an awareness session on knowing when an LED lighting product lives up to its claims.
While LEDs have been around for awhile, particularly as indicator lights in electronics, technology that enables a stable, white light for general lighting has been a fairly recent innovation. Quality LED lighting for general and commercial use has brightness that is equal to or greater than existing lighting technologies, its output remains constant over time, and it does not use power when it is turned off. LEDs are also increasingly used in traffic control lighting.
The technology has advanced so rapidly in recent years that it is now surpassing the quality and efficiency of traditional lighting solutions—in fact, according to ENERGY STAR, LED lighting can yield significant savings because it uses at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lighting also lasts up to 50 times longer than incandescent types and up to five times longer than fluorescent bulbs, is cooler to operate, and won’t break.
LED_Bulb-350It all adds up to significant energy savings—an especially attractive feature for large use customers. Among those in attendance at the Derryfield seminar were interested representatives from PSNH Southern Division industry giants BAE (Nashua) and General Electric (Hooksett), the NH Department of Transportation, the state university system, the city of Dover, and hospitals.
In addition to the seminar’s tutorial aspect, Schelling says large customers were encouraged to weigh “life-cycle cost factors” when considering replacing existing lighting with LED solutions—the initial investment, cost of energy over the lifetime of the product, and maintenance cost over its lifetime.
“This helps people appreciate the real value in LED products that appear to be expensive at first,” Schelling explains. “Lighting retrofits and efficient motors are just two examples of products that offer huge savings opportunities over the long range.”
PSNH is helping its large customers take full advantage of LED lighting technology by providing rebates through the nhsaves@work large business retrofit program. Paul Lentine, PSNH senior energy efficiency program administrator, explained to the Derryfield gathering how using LED technology could be tied into the rebate programs offered by PSNH and the other participating New Hampshire utilities.
The large business retrofit program offers prescriptive and custom rebates to customers who replace equipment and lighting at their facility with more energy-efficient solutions.
“The main message,” says Schelling, “is that there are practical energy-saving applications today for a variety of general lighting applications.”
For more information on PSNH’s LED lighting retrofit programs, contact me an Account Executive at 1-800-662-7764.