This wasn't the first time the Convention Center had partnered with Energy Smart Services, City Light's conservation program for business. Earlier projects had saved over $20,000 per year, and included variable speed drives and the installation of a large power door. But this project was symbolic in that it represented an increased commitment to energy efficiency by the Convention Center.
The project involved the installation of more than 6,000 energy efficient lighting fixtures, of primarily two types.
T-12 fluorescent fixtures were replaced with thinner T-8s, and incandescent lights were replaced with compact fluorescent fixtures. The T-8s will result in 30% savings and the compact fluorescents will save an incredible 60%.
But the Convention Center gained benefits well beyond energy savings. By installing uniform fixtures the number of replacement lamps required was reduced. Getting rid of short-lived incandescent bulbs lessened the number of bulb replacements needed. And light quality in many areas improved dramatically, becoming brighter and more true-to-life.
At the Convention Center's May, 2004 Board Meeting, City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco presented the Convention Center with a ceremonial check and called the project a two-way win. "City Light saves money by not having to buy additional power generation. The Convention & Trade Center's reduced overhead and improved lighting helps them be more competitive."
From left: Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco, Convention Center Project Manager Larry Dittloff, City Light's Jean Shaffer and Surinder Rekhi, Convention Center Board Chairman Frank K. Finneran, and President and General Manager John Christison.
The check represents 64% of the project's total cost of $323,330. Annual energy savings are expected to total over 2 million kWh, roughly equivalent to the consumption of 200 homes. The Convention Center will save about $120,000 annually and get its investment back in one year through energy savings. Officials are so satisfied that they are already planning their next project: installing new light emitting diode (LED) technology to replace existing neon lighting.
The Convention Center's proactive approach to energy management has given it an edge in a competitive market. The same project that saved the Convention Center energy and money has also resulted in more uniform light levels that are more aesthetically pleasing to customers. Seattle City Light recognizes the Convention Center's hard work and appreciates its careful attention to energy management.