North Carolina is a leader in the energy efficiency and clean energy industry ranking fourth in the country for sustainable homes and buildings. With October being National Energy Awareness Month and October 5th being the first ever National Energy Efficiency Day, it is the perfect time to highlight how energy efficiency measures are a low-cost and highly effective way for consumers, businesses, or institutions to lower their energy usage and save money.
Switching to LED Light Bulb
According to the NC Building Performance Association (NCBPA), a LED light bulb uses at least 75 percent less energy and can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Businesses and households are the only areas that benefit from transitioning to LED — municipalities may stand to gain the most from making the switch.
Putting LED lights into public areas not only saves money for the government and taxpayers but aids with beautification and crime reduction. Most conventional street lights use high-pressure sodium vapor bulbs, which cast a yellowish glow with dark spots between the poles. LED bulbs are brighter and whiter, keeping streets well lit, more beautiful, and safer at night. LED street lights also consume less electricity and last three times as long as high-pressure sodium vapor bulbs.
Fayetteville LED Street Light Conversion
Fayetteville, NC got the message about the many benefits of switching to LED. As of October 2016, the Fayetteville Public Works Commission has converted about 85 percent of the sodium-vapor lights in its neighborhoods to brighter, more cost-efficient LED bulbs. Three other providers in Fayetteville are moving towards a LED upgrade as well. Lumbee River Electric Membership Corp. began the conversion last year of about 23,000 convention street lights. A Duke Energy representative, David Munn, said all he needed was a letter from the city confirming its interest in converting the 600 Duke street lights that are billed to the city. South River Electric Membership Corp. says it will soon begin a multi-year plan to upgrade its lights.
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Energy Efficiency Measures Beyond the Bulb
To say LED bulbs are the tip of the iceberg would be an understatement. The ways to maximize your energy efficiency, minimize your energy costs, and improve your energy performance are seemingly limitless. The NCBPA has suggestions on how any business, family, or individual in North Carolina can implement energy efficiency measures:
- Energy-efficient washing machines wash the same amount of laundry using 35 percent less water and 20 percent less energy than standard washers.
- Well-sealed and insulated houses leak less heat in the winter and less chilled air in the summer. Therefore, requires less energy to stay comfortable.
- Factories with smart energy-efficiency plan can reduce energy waste through simple practices like shutting down their ventilation system during non-production hours.
- For industrial customers, upgrades and better maintenance on motors have the greatest potential for energy savings.
- Manufacturers can install data systems that analyze and manage energy consumption data in order for industries to curtail energy use during times of peak demand.
To learn how to implement energy efficiency measures in your household, head over to Home Energy NC. To read more about Energy Efficiency Day, check out the NCBPA website or search the hashtag #EEDay2016 on social media.