Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty (L) accepts a rebate check for $135,475 from SMUD Board President Rob Kerth for energy savings.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) recently rewarded Caltrans with a $135,375 rebate for a conservation program that will significantly reduce energy use, while also generating savings for California taxpayers.
The department is removing more than 9,000 energy-draining fluorescent bulbs from its N Street headquarters in favor of high-efficiency tubular light emitting diodes (TLED bulbs). The technology will help Caltrans meet the Governor’s mandate that state agencies reduce grid-based energy purchases by at least 20 percent by 2018.
Taxpayers also benefit. The conversion to energy-efficient bulbs will slice about $41,000, or 8.5 percent, from Caltrans’ annual utility bill of approximately $485,000. Caltrans spent $305,031 on this conversion project and expects a complete return on its investment within four years.
“Energy conservation needs to be a priority for all of California and Caltrans is happy to take this significant step toward cutting our electrical use, while improving the environment,” Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “We are pleased taxpayers will benefit from this rebate and Caltrans’s reduced utility bills.”
The annual savings of 390,000 kilowatt hours, according to SMUD, is equal to the energy used by 45 houses.
“There is also significant environmental benefit,” SMUD Board of Directors President Rob Kerth said. “Shifting to these energy-efficient bulbs also equates to eliminating 203,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of taking 21 cars off the road.”
The TLED bulbs are produced in California, sustainable, guaranteed for at least five years and consume about 40 percent less electricity. They are ecologically friendly and will not shatter — a risk with the previous bulbs — while producing a cleaner, white light to improve visibility.
Caltrans is cutting greenhouse gas emissions by reducing traffic congestion, expanding active transportation and embracing new technology in construction materials, alternative fuels, efficient lighting and renewable energy. Its efforts include new standards for concrete production that cut emissions by more than 108,000 tons (97,076 t) annually, while also installing roadway lighting and using alternative fuels to cut greenhouse gases equal to 41,000 tons (37,194.6 t) of carbon dioxide.