Project Specialist Ray Pierotti, LPEA's "lighting guy," advises to never go to Cleveland, Ohio in the winter, given the cold, dreary weather one is likely to experience. He did, however, recently brave the elements to take a "next step" in learning about lighting at the GE Lighting Institute outside of Cleveland in Nela Park for the benefit of LPEA's members.
Pierotti was invited to visit the institute by Tri-State Generation and Transmission's Keith Emerson, and was the only representative from Tri-State's 44 cooperative members to be included. LPEA and Tri-State work together to offer the variety of rebates for energy efficiency, one of the most successful being lighting retrofits.
"The 90-acre campus is a complete lighting environment with the largest base of lighting information in the industry, from existing to new technology," says Pierotti. "We learned a lot about the basics of lighting including quality of lighting along with quantity and 'cost of light.' My knowledge of lighting types – indoor, outdoor, retail and display – was enhanced. I really appreciated the opportunity to improve my skills to better help our members."
The timing of the trip couldn't have been more appropriate as a week following the GE training Pierotti led the workshop, "The Basics of Bulbs – Understanding New Lighting Technology" at LPEA.
"The two-and-a-half hour training had hands-on examples of types and quality of lighting, especially LED technology," says Pierotti. "We also included 'buying tips and buyer beware' throughout the presentation to give our members the knowledge to find the right bulb for the application or replacement."
The workshop also covered the federal lighting regulations that sparked the need for LPEA to focus on changing out lighting, including discontinued lamps and the replacement options.
As Pierotti explains, "The 100 watt bulb discontinued in 2012 is replaced with a halogen 72 watt bulb, which is 25 percent more efficient while maintaining the same lumen output. Of course, investing in a LED bulb is an even more efficient option."
Pierotti's knowledge of the new lighting technology also garnered him an invitation to present at the March New Mexico Member Services Meeting, essentially to inform his counterparts at the New Mexico rural electric cooperatives how to initiate and administer a lighting retrofit program for their members, from pre-inspection to rebate payment.
"We're just doing what is right for our members, helping them to save energy and dollars," says Pierotti, noting that LPEA has helped members reduce energy consumption by more than 1.6 megawatts – as of press time. The count increases weekly.
"It's pretty amazing to get outside of our service territory and get a perspective on exactly how successful our program is," adds Pierotti.
Given the interest in lighting retrofits, LPEA will be sponsoring additional workshops in coming months. To receive convenient "email alerts" sign up at www.lpea.coop. Contact Pierotti at 970.382.7770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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