Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Emerging Technologies

Jacksons Food Stores & City of Everett Get Efficient

Lighting technology just keeps getting better and better. LED lights, for example, can cut lighting costs by up to 80 percent. Jackson Food Stores recently fitted nearly 90 canopy lights with LEDs and photocell timers at several of its Shell gas station bays in Snohomish County. It expects to save nearly $12,000 annually. The lights last four to eight times as long as the metal halide lamps they replaced, in turn reducing maintenance costs.

“We’ve always made it a priority to be a responsible corporate citizen, and putting resources behind green building initiatives is part of our strategic plan,” says Randy Helfer, Facilities Manager for Jackson Food Stores. “We recognize that taking advantage of new technology to reduce energy consumption is one way we can do our part to help conserve natural resources.”

The company reports that the LED lights have dramatically reduced the light extending out into the surrounding neighborhood, and at the same time they provide excellent coverage for customers fueling their vehicles.

Everett Traffic Lights

The City of Everett increased its use of LEDs in 2008, installing nearly 4,000 traffic lights – red, yellow, green and pedestrian – at about 170 intersections. The city estimates annual energy savings of 1.6 million kilowatt-hours, or $112,000 in reduced utility bills. It’s also saving significant staff time for replacing burned-out lights since the new lights last much longer.       

The city found the short payback for the lighting project – less than two years – very attractive. The PUD provided financial incentives to help with the efficiency effort.  The Everett project is the PUD’s largest traffic light project. Similar LED projects also have been completed in Bothell, Lynnwood and Edmonds.

What are LEDs?

Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are a type of solid state lighting that is commonly used for indicator lights, electronics and traffic signals. While LEDs are still relatively expensive, their cost is expected to come down over time. As a result, consumers will see many more applications for home use in the coming years. They have numerous benefits, including lower energy consumption, a longer lifetime, smaller size and durability.