Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
October 2006
Two Historic Buildings Demonstrate ENERGY STAR® Qualified Lighting

State Capitol and UW-Madison's Memorial Union Reap Cost, Labor Savings


The State Capitol replaced hundreds of traditional screw-base incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Energy cost savings are estimated to be $7,000 a year.

Two historic public buildings in Madison recently installed demonstrations of low cost, energy efficient lighting. The Capitol and UW-Madison's Memorial Union replaced hundreds of traditional screw-base incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Energy cost savings are estimated to be $7,000 a year at the Capitol and over $12,000 at the Memorial Union. Additional benefits will come from labor savings and reduced need for air conditioning. Saving energy will also help the environment by lowering air pollution emissions and other environmental impacts of electricity production and use.

"It used to take us eight staff hours at $20 per hour to re-lamp Tripp Commons before we put in the CFLs, and we had to do it every month," said Bill Miller, UW-Madison Memorial Union Building Services Manager. "Since we re-lamped over a year ago we haven't had to change the bulbs yet. That's saving us $900 alone in labor just in Tripp, even after deducting the cost of the CFLs, not to mention the electricity savings. Now we have CFLs in the Rathskeller, Great Hall and other areas of the building as well as all of the lighting on the outside of the building. They are energy efficient and save us a bundle in labor costs."

In order to respect the historic character of both buildings, staff installed the new lighting gradually on a trial basis over a period of many months. Based on the success of this project, both facilities have a great deal of remaining potential to change energy inefficient incandescent lighting to ENERGY STAR qualified lighting. DOA's Division of Energy partnered with building managers on the project.

The project took a simple, low-cost approach that most Wisconsin homes and businesses could follow. The target was familiar socket-based lighting that makes up virtually all residential lighting and about twenty percent of commercial building lighting. The project changed out traditional incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs. Screwing in light bulbs is one of the simplest energy saving projects, requiring no specialized tools.

ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs typically lower energy costs by two-thirds, and last up to10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Businesses and commercial buildings in particular see dollar savings add up quickly when they change to efficient lighting, because they use their lights so many hours a day. CFLs generate approximately 70 percent less heat than standard incandescent lighting, which means they are cooler to touch, less of a fire hazard and help cut back air conditioning costs in the buildings during the summer.

Division of Energy staff assisted the project by finding many specialty styles of ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs, to satisfy many different lighting applications in each of these buildings. This was possible because ENERGY STAR qualified lighting has become available in a much broader array of styles. For example, this project demonstrated reflector and flood-style light bulbs, dimmable styles and globes, as well as standard shapes. Outdoor lighting was also targeted.

Read more about this project by downloading the fact sheet: http://www.doa.state.wi.us/docs_view2.asp?docid=5975

To make the switch easy for Wisconsin residents and businesses, Focus on Energy is offering a $2 instant Cash-Back Reward per bulb through its "Change a Light, Change Wisconsin" program. Starting October 1, qualified bulbs are being sold for as little as $0.99 at select retail locations including ACE Hardware, DoIt Best, Menards, Mills Fleet Farm, True Value Hardware and ShopKo. Call 800-762-7077 for more information, or visit www.focusonenergy.com.

-- Barbara Smith, Department of Administration, Division of Energy

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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