When the installation of energy efficient lighting was completed at Interlake Childcare Center, it became the 1000th business in Seattle to participate in the "Smart Business" lighting rebate program. The utility began helping small businesses save energy with this program in 1995. Since then participating customers have saved more than $1.4 million in utility bills or 35 million kWh - enough electricity to power 3,400 homes for a year.
The Childcare center near Greenlake will likely shave $560 from their bills and save 9,909 kWh of electricity each year with these lighting improvements. The upgrade to energy efficient fixtures is one of the simplest conservation measures a small business can pursue.
According to Interlake's owner Mike Kasprzak, "Along with the money we're saving, the lighting quality and efficiency are vastly improved. It makes a nicer environment in our classrooms and the new lighting is much safer. We changed our lighting from the 1950's to the new millennium."
And best of all, the owners were reimbursed $775 or 42% of the total job cost. This included replacing 31 incandescent fixtures with more efficient compact fluorescent fixtures. The changes significantly reduce maintenance chores, too. Compact fluorescent lights burn for approximately five years, while incandescent bulbs require 6-10 times more frequent changes.
Any business that pay Seattle City Light's "Small General Service" rate may participate in the Smart Business Lighting Rebate Program. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) helps fund the program by buying back all of the energy Seattle City Light customers save.
Funds are still available to help more businesses and the program seeks additional customers. For more information, call the Conservation Help Line at (206) 684-3800 or visit www.seattle.gov/light/conserve.