Exterior Lighting Project Provides Big Savings and ROI

July 29, 2015

Parking lots across campus recently received a face-lift—not pavement, but exterior lighting. This year a pilot energy management plan identified 13 energy conservation projects that were expected to reduce electricity consumption at Colby by approximately 500,000 kWh annually. Projects include exterior and interior lighting changes and the installation of variable frequency drives in kitchens and in the gym and hockey arena.

The largest portion of the plan, implemented by the Physical Plant Department and the Office of Sustainability, included replacement of 135 exterior light fixtures across campus parking lots, replacing 250-watt metal halide lamps with efficient 90-watt LED lamps. The LEDs reduce each lamp’s electric consumption by over 60 percent while lighting parking lots more effectively for a longer period of time. Maintenance will be reduced as LED lamps are expected to last at least 10 years where the metal halide counterparts are replaced every two or three years.

As part of the financing of the pilot energy management plan, Colby secured a grant from Efficiency Maine that contributed 25 percent of the funding. Without the grant, energy savings from the 13 projects would have paid the cost of the projects in five years. The Efficiency Maine grant reduced the anticipated payback to three years. Combining the amount of the grant with Colby’s cost, the return on that investment is 20 percent per year.

For information about the energy management initiatives, email sustainability@colby.edu.



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