Colorado State University Saves with Record-Breaking Lighting Upgrade

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado State, a leader in energy efficiency and environmental awareness, is always looking for opportunities to be more efficient and conserve resources. The University's most recent project--working in partnership with Fort Collins Utilities and Platte River Power Authority through the LIGHTENUP program--upgraded the lighting in nearly 900,000 square feet of campus buildings.

This project marks the highest rebate paid through LIGHTENUP, just under $138,000, and completes the first phase of the University's lighting retrofits. The second phase is currently in the audit and budget stage and will include approximately 1,000,000 additional square feet of buildings to be upgraded with new lighting in 2008.

With the completion of the first phase, which improved lighting in 13 buildings, Colorado State should see a savings of 900,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year, representing a decrease of approximately 1 percent in the overall electric use of the main campus--or the energy use equivalent of 107 Fort Collins homes per year. The estimated yearly savings also
equates to a 620-ton decrease in annual greenhouse gas emissions.

"This lighting project will benefit the University in a multitude of ways, including saving money through more efficient lighting and reducing maintenance while providing better indoor light quality," said Utility Engineer Carol Dollard, Colorado State Facilities Management. "We appreciate our partnership with Fort Collins Utilities and Platte River in these efficiency projects. With their technical assistance and financial support, the LIGHTENUP team helps everything
run smoothly."

"Energy efficiency projects, such as the Colorado State lighting project, are the cheapest form of electricity supply available to us," said Energy Services Engineer John Phelan, Fort Collins Utilities."The University reduces its electric bill, Fort Collins Utilities reduces its power needs, and we all benefit from reduced emissions."

Lighting typically accounts for the highest portion of commercial and institutional electric bills. Through the LIGHTENUP program, commercial customers receive cash incentives and technical support for lighting retrofits in existing buildings that improve lighting quality and reduce overall energy consumption. Other benefits of lighting upgrades include better color rendition, improved productivity, and no flicker or hum.

"The idea behind LIGHTENUP incentives is that commercial customers can use these rebates to offset the costs of replacing older, inefficient lighting with newer technology, resulting in a faster return on their investment," said Energy Services Manager Paul Davis, Platte River Power Authority. "The bottom line is that lighting efficiency improvements save energy and reduce energy bills while decreasing carbon dioxide emissions."

Program details and online applications are available at Interested customers also may call Fort Collins Utilities at (970) 221-6700, TDD (970) 224-6003 or e-mail For more information on Platte River Power Authority, call (970) 226-4000 or visit

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