Light bulb goes on for county savings

Contributing writer

Sherburne County commissioners learned at a meeting Feb. 19 that building and facilities staff will proceed this year with replacing all exterior lights on the Government Center campus with more efficient LED bulbs.

Building and Facilities Director Kevin Anderson later told the Star News that this work, to start with the spring thaw, will involve 134 attached and freestanding light fixtures on the grounds.

The cost estimate is $54,051, with nearly half, or $25,170, to be covered through a rebate that the county received from Elk River Municipal Utilities in 2012 for installation of a high-efficiency campus chiller.

The county is getting an extra rebate of $9,790 from ERMU for performing the LED project and applying those funds directly to the cost. The balance of $19,091 will be covered with excess operating funds from 2012.

The new bulbs are projected to lower the county’s wattage use for those fixtures by more than 75 percent, saving annual utility costs of $5,451 which would cover the county’s expense of $19,091 in less than four years.