Local businesses also benefiting from switch to LED lights

The City of Renton is not the only entity benefiting from energy-saving Puget Sound Energy programs. Renton business owners are taking advantage of an opportunity to replace old light bulbs with new Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights, saving them on electricity costs.

Last week, the Renton Reporter featured a story about the City of Renton’s efforts with PSE to replace streetlights. The paper has heard from several business owners involved in unrelated but similar plans to save energy and money with the utility supplier.

“So far this year, there’s been about 40 businesses to take advantage of this,” said David Landers, PSE manager of Business Energy Management.

“Renton businesses combined are saving $50,000 a year, as a result of participating in energy efficiency programs,” he said.

Cheryl Danza of CD Danza Salon and Spa and Jeff Lawrence, co-owner of the Whistle Stop Ale House, both believe they are saving and benefiting from these energy-saving programs. Both went through vendor Pacific Lamp and Supply Co. to take part in PSE instant rebate lighting program for commercial businesses. Through an agreement with Pacific Lamp, the business owners were able to replace old bulbs with new LED lights inside and outside of their businesses.

Already, Danza has noticed a $100 savings in her electricity bill.

“It was just amazing,” said Danza of the savings.

She was able to replace many bulbs that line her styling and make-up stations, track lighting, a chandelier with 16 bulbs alone, plus outside lights. In the winter her electricity bills are between $475 to $575 and in the summer around $350. This summer it’s gotten as low as $250, without a lot of air conditioning use.

Danza was got an instant rebate from Pacific Lamp and PSE, receiving free bulbs that would have cost her about $50 or $60 each bulb because of the sizes she required for the salon.

Down the street at the Whistle Stop, Lawrence is waiting to see what he’s saved in his first electricity bill. He recently got bulbs replaced in his ale house after hearing about the program from Danza.

“Electricity is a huge part of my overhead from HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) to compressors that cool the food to all my refrigeration,” Lawrence said.

With the new LED lights, the pub owner said he’s not filling up the restaurant with thousands of watts of energy and heat.

“I’m just happy to have an opportunity to change that’s going to save energy,” he said.

Landers, PSE manager, said these types of rebate programs are about making it easier for PSE customers to participate in the company’s energy efficiency programs. Customers don’t have to go through a vendor like Pacific Lamp, but doing so puts all of the paperwork burden on the vendor and off of the customer.

“It’s just a quicker way to provide incentives to our customers and to enable them to participate in our programs,” Landers said.

Not only is it PSE’s goal to help businesses achieve greater energy effciency, it’s also a state mandate. Voter Initiative-937 that passed in 2006 required large utilities to get 15 percent electricity from renewable resources and take greater cost effective conservation measures.

“So it certainly helps us with our compliance,” Landers said.

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