Wake Forest, NC— At Wake Electric, we have a long history of encouraging the wise use of electric energy and being good stewards of our environment. Both federal and state laws now lead us to further improve energy efficiency. Based on this, Wake Electric has decided to change out yard and area lights (also known as security lights) located on members’ properties with efficient and environmentally friendly Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
LED lights offer great energy efficiency, environmental and cost benefits as compared to our existing yard lights. The lights do cost more to purchase, but they use significantly less energy while producing a comparable amount of light. LED lights have a very long life, meaning they should provide worry free service for many years, helping Wake Electric save on our annual lighting maintenance expenses. The LED fixture is designed to last 80,000 operating hours. Even though the initial light fixtures costs are greater, the monthly charge for the new LED lights will remain the same as existing yard lights. After Wake Electric completes this project, we will save over 3.5 million kWh per year.
LED lights provide similar ground illumination to our existing area lights, with the preferred white colored light and zero upward light pollution, so no energy is being wasted lighting the sky. Wake Electric’s LED lighting reduces light pollution as a whole and directs light where our members want it to be.
Switching to LED lighting will help us meet the requirements of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) mandate set forth in 2007. This state legislation mandates that 10 percent of the energy that electric cooperatives sell be created through renewable energy resources or by energy efficiency measures by 2018.
Federal laws have also been designed to eliminate less efficient lighting sources. We expect the type of security lights we are currently using will not be available in the future. Wake Electric is taking a proactive approach and has found LED lights to be a suitable, cost effective and “green” lighting alternative for our members.
Wake Electric plans to change out area lights over the next two years. Members will be notified by mail before their area light is replaced. We will also leave a notice when the light is changed out. Streetlights will not be changed out at this time.
The LED fixtures we are purchasing are manufactured in North Carolina.
Be on the lookout in upcoming issues of this newsletter for more information on the new LED lighting fixtures.