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RSF Lights: Brighter, Greener

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Have you noticed that the lights in the RSF Field House are quite a bit brighter? We’re part way through a full scale upgrade of our lighting systems that will reduce energy use, lower maintenance costs and provide better quality lighting in the gyms. Throughout the RSF, existing light fixtures will be replaced with high efficiency, high output fluorescent lamps and transformers, which will be equipped with occupancy sensors so that lights will automatically switch off when an area has been unoccupied for 20 minutes.

Why are we doing it? There are a lot of reasons; the biggest is the fact that increasing energy efficiency by installing new lighting equipment is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to reduce electrical demand. Once the project is complete – in June of 2008 – the reduction in energy use will be equivalent to removing 132,000 pounds of CO2 per year from the air. Another way to look at it: the avoided energy use is like switching off 760 100-watt light bulbs.

This change also makes good business sense. The energy savings are 252,000 kW-hours of electricity per year, for an estimated cost saving of $25,000. The total cost for the RSF Lighting Improvement Project is estimated to be $114,000, but 80% of that amount will be paid through a grant from PG&E. Thus, the RSF’s net cost is $23,000. So based on the energy savings, plus the PG&E grant, the project will pay for itself in less than one year.

The effect of the project is visible right now in the Field House. New fixtures have been installed and the light levels have dramatically increased. By June 2008, lighting will be improved throughout the RSF. Users will be able to see well even as RSF reduces both its costs and its contribution to global warming.

Now, when you’re working out at the RSF, your surroundings will be not only brighter, but greener.

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