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SMUD gets jump on lighting mandates

Tools

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is offering its business customers an Advanced Lighting Controls (ALC) pilot program, effectively getting a jump on California's Title 24 Energy Standards, which will mandate dimmable lighting in commercial buildings beginning in 2014.

By replacing and managing fixtures and lamps, the utility can save building owners from 50 percent to more than 75 percent for an annual savings of between $5,000 to as much as $100,000 for the companies currently enrolled in the program. The program also provided $1.5 million for energy efficiency incentives of 30 cents per kilowatt-hour saved with a maximum per project of $300,000 or 80 percent of the total project cost.

In addition to the savings, the program provides sophisticated tools for managing lighting systems. Program participants can use the technology to create schedules that automatically turn on, power down and dim lighting -- down to 20 percent -- in specific areas, improving light quality and increasing employee satisfaction. Businesses can track energy costs and savings and monitor energy use in real time onsite or remotely via web-based interfaces including smartphones. Facility managers can anticipate and schedule lamp replacement for more streamlined maintenance.

"This program helps businesses achieve significant ROI," said Dave Bisbee, SMUD ALC program manager. "The SMUD team works with control companies and local electrical contractors to deliver technical support throughout the process including calculating potential energy savings based on project specifications and design."

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