Monday, September 8, 2014

New Orleans Mayor Approves $14.7 Million LED Streetlight Conversion Program

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the city of New Orleans have recently announced that the city will soon begin a new program to convert 20,000 streetlights to energy-efficient LED lights. The project is estimated to cost about $14.7 million dollars but the new LED lights will have a much longer lifespan and be more energy efficient.

Conventional street lights normally have approximately a 2 to 3 year lifespan, while LED streetlights offer 10 to 20 years of use. This means less work for city employees, equating to a decrease in overall workload and freeing workers to take care of more important issues.

Director of the City of New Orleans Department of Public Works, Lt. Col. Mark Jernigan, has stated that one of the reasons for the changeover is that LED streetlights will save between 30-50% in energy costs, while providing better lighting.  The work was set to begin in June of 2014 and will be performed over a 12-month period with 15 crews scheduled to change out 600 streetlights per week.

The New Orleans City Council passed the resolution to convert the old streetlights in April due to growing problems with outages of the old streetlights. Since New Orleans is one of those cities with a very eventful nightlife, it seemed to make sense to city leaders. Brighter street lights have also proven to cut down on crime rates. The conversion will not cause a hike in tax rates as the $14.7 million cost will come from an Entergy account designed specifically for energy savings.

The city has made huge progress in the nine years since the hurricane Katrina disaster, which virtually destroyed most of the city’s infrastructure. Many of the popular tourist attractions are up and running at full speed. The city is well known for its jazz festivals but also hosts numerous food, art and wine festivals each year and of course, the famous Mardi Gras, which is held annually in February.

Mayor Mitchell Landrieu has made it a priority to enhance the quality of life in the city so that New Orleans can attract more high-tech jobs. During his three years in office, he has worked to create lasting reform that would transform New Orleans into a hub of entrepreneurship. The LED streetlight project will provide better safety for residents and visitors since LED has proven to offer much brighter, more efficient lighting.

Kalihi, Honolulu has also recently switched out its traditional streetlights for LED due to an unusually high number of accidents on the streets at night. Honolulu is considering changing out all the street lights eventually as their city budgets allow.

Friday, August 29, 2014

5 Reasons To Do a Lighting Retrofit in Your Commercial Building

If you’ve been thinking about doing a lighting retrofit at your company, you’re not alone. With the government offering tax incentives and the U.S. Department of Energy consistently moving to make lighting upgrades more attractive to business owners, many are wondering if it’s time to retrofit their building's lighting.

With the American economy still struggling, most companies, both large and small, are searching for ways to trim their monthly expenditures. The lighting bill is a great place to start. You may not need much encouragement at all, but below are 5 good reasons to move forward with your lighting retrofit.

1. Lower Your Electric Bill
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that upgrading to more energy efficient lighting products may cut the bill in half. That’s a significant savings even for a small business. The Energy Savings Cost Council says that upgrading the lighting offers a 45% ROI, the highest return on investment for this type of commercial building improvement. In fact, the investment will pay for itself in about 2 years. Of course, after that two-year period, an organization can easily enjoy a significant monthly savings.

2. Improved Lighting in the Workplace
Another great feature of retrofitted lighting is the improved lighting quality. Often in commercial enterprises, employees can do their jobs more efficiently and safely with better lighting.

3. Reduce Workplace Accidents
Poor lighting has been attributed to thousands of accidents in the workplace and employees report all types of lighting issues such as glare, not enough light, flickering lights, and poor light placement. For those managing a business, it can mean the difference between serious workplace accidents like slip and fall, which often result in lawsuits.

4. Increased Property Value
The U.S. Department of Energy has consistently tightened the energy codes over the years to encourage organizations and businesses to make the appropriate changes. Historically, retrofitting the lighting in a commercial building renders it more attractive to potential buyers and increases the value overall.

5. Improved Worker Performance & Productivity
Numerous studies have proven over and over that better lighting equals better employee performance. Bad lighting can even make employees irritable and sluggish, plus it often results in eye strain. The accuracy of work is also affected. Employees generally have a better attitude and accomplish tasks more efficiently in a well-lit workplace.

Things to Consider When Upgrading
If you do decide on a lighting retrofit, then make sure to work with a company that offers an end-to-end solution. It can cost more in the long run to hire various companies for each phase of the project.

For instance, ESCO Energy Services Company provides planning, design, installation and everything in between. Using state-of-the-art technology and top quality products, we have improved our entire process over the years and today it is highly streamlined. Our lighting retrofits are designed to maximize your energy savings and will help you to achieve the highest possible ROI on your investment. We offer customized turnkey lighting solutions for every type of business that will nicely fit in your budget.