Sometimes being ‘green’ is as easy as changing a light bulb. Recently, our Buildings and Grounds team replaced sixty 250-watt and eighteen 100-watt incandescent bulbs from Love Auditorium and replaced them with seventy-eight 20-watt energy efficient LED lights. The LED lights cost about $3,500. The project was refunded $2,000 from the Hamilton Coop Electric. So, overall the project cost Colgate about $1,500 plus the cost of labor.
This lighting upgrade will reduce energy consumption by about 420,000 kWh a year. At $0.041 per kWh this will save Colgate approximately $17,500 a year in electricity costs. It is also important to note that changing a light bulb is easy, but changing 78 light bulbs in a high auditorium ceiling is a much more daunting task. So, we would like to acknowledge all of the work that went into making this project possible and thank our electric shop including Ted Kowalski, Jim Ayers, Rob Bachman, and Jim Hall. The good news is that LED lights last for up to 50,000 hours. That is 42 times longer than a regular incandescent. As a result, the lights will not have to be changed again for an estimated 8-10 years. This saves money and time related to labor.
Taken altogether, this project paid for itself in slightly over a month.
However, that is not the end of story. The reduction in kilowatt usage will reduce our campus carbon footprint by 25 tons. As Raider Nation knows, Colgate has signed a pledge to be carbon neutral by 2019 and a part of our Sustainability and Climate Action Plan involves investing in carbon offsets to reach neutrality. The less carbon we emit, the fewer offsets we will have to purchase in the future.