This is a guest blog post by Greater Mankato Growth member business, Laketown Electric Corporation, to accompany their Business Focus video:
There is little doubt that the advancement of LED has drastically changed the landscape of the electrical contracting market for the better. Five years ago, a two-lamp fluorescent fixture would consume roughly 59 watts would deliver approximately 4,000 lumens and would last approximately 20,000 hours. They were not controllable except for on/off or occupancy sensing both with a special ballast. Once the tubes failed, they needed to be recycled in a special manner.
Today the equivalent LED will consume 40w, create 10% more output and will last, in almost all cases 50,000 and upwards of 100,000 hours. These fixtures are now inherently dimmable with 0-10v protocols and standard occupancy sensors which will further the savings. Utility companies such as Xcel Energy have found them valuable in pursuit of their Demand Side Management (DSM) programs.
While the DSM programs have been evolving from year to year the rebates and incentives used to ensure their success will not be going away any time soon. Xcel Energy’s budget for Business Electric Programs was $57.5 million in 2019 and in 2020 that number was raised to $59 million (2019/2020 Demand-Side Management plan published April 18, 2019). Xcel Energy is budgeting $48 million in 2021/2022 for these programs. This is a decrease from previous years but still a substantial commitment to energy savings. Xcel Energy uses these programs to ensure they keep the demands on their grids as low as they can. It is imperative that companies like Xcel keep these DSM programs alive and solvent. It is estimated that a new coal fired power plant, if even allowed to be constructed in the US today, would cost roughly $2-3 Billion dollars and would take roughly 10 years to complete.
They truly are win/win propositions for both the utility and for the end users. The Utility will not need to build that $2 Billion plant and the end users will benefit from reduced operating and maintenance costs. In most cases the return on investment for the end user can be 50 or less months depending on the hours of operation and cost of the material.
Laketown Electric can help you put together a cost-free feasibility and payback study on your existing facility to see how much you can save. For more information on these programs, contact our office in Mankato at 507-388-3288 and ask for Jake Radford. Or email him at [email protected].