West Jordan receives $240,000 check for energy conservation
Jun 05, 2017 02:30PM ● Published by Tori LaRue
Michael Lange, Rocky Mountain Power regional business manager, shakes hands with West Jordan Mayor Kim Rolfe after presenting a rebate check of $240,298.50 to the West Jordan City Council on May 10. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)
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Rocky Mountain Power presented West Jordan City leaders with an incentive check of $240,298.50 on May 10 for swapping 5,000 traditional streetlights with LED lights last year.
The city switched to light-emitting diode lights in hopes of reducing energy costs, decreasing its carbon footprint and increasing night visibility throughout the city.
“It is a great day for West Jordan,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said just after Rocky Mountain Power regional business manager Michael Lange presented the check during a city council meeting. “Three years ago, we started the LED project. It was a big project to take on for the city, but now, thankfully, we are going to see benefits for years to come.”
While the incentive check is a one-time occurrence, West Jordan will save approximately 1.6 million kilowatt-hours per year because of the transition, which translates to $180,000 per year in electrical costs.
“This is the environmental equivalent of taking almost 243 passenger vehicles off the road for one year,” Lange added.
The investment for the project cost the city about $3.7 million. This includes the light fixtures and installation. Existing streetlight poles were used to cut costs and keep pole spacing and height consistent.
The $3.7 million was paid for with a bond, but the bond payments are coming from energy and maintenance cost savings, so residents have not seen an increase in taxes to pay for the lights. The lights will pay for themselves within eight years and subsequently will save the city around $150,000 annually, according to city Public Works Director Wendell Rigby.
LEDs typically get 50,000 hours of life, more than double the lifespan of traditional lights. They also come with a 10-year warranty, though many are expected to last for 17 to 23 years, according to city staff. The LED lights use fewer watts of electricity and are less sensitive to heat changes.
LED lights also differ from traditional lights in their color. While traditional lights give off a pink or yellow tone, LED lights have a cooler, whiter glow that creates a more uniform light distribution and makes it easier to see.
While West Jordan officials were busy switching lights last year, West Jordan businesses and residents also got involved in energy conservation and claimed $1,060,910 in incentives from Rocky Mountain Power through hundreds of projects.
“These projects have saved a total of over 10 million kilowatt-hours per year, and garnered a total of over $647,000 in annual cost savings,” Lange said. “This is the environmental equivalent of taking 1,500 vehicles off of the road in one year.”
Rocky Mountain Power’s energy efficiency incentive program, called Wattsmart, intends to reward customers who decrease energy usage levels. When current users decrease their energy dependency, it allows Rocky Mountain Power to serve more clients while maintaining current infrastructure, thus avoiding the high cost of creating new power plants.
For more information on the Wattsmart program, visit rockymountainpower.net.