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RCEA energy audit reviews/Coast Central Credit Union

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Coast Central Credit Union

The Coast Central Credit Union is a financial institution in Eureka and the surrounding with 19 ATMS and 11 member service branches throughout Humboldt County. The Eureka branch worked with Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) in getting light retrofits for the building, which over time saved money and CO2 emissions.[1]

Eureka Branch

Redwood Coast Energy Authority

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority's mission statement taken from their webpage says: "The Redwood Coast Energy Authority’s (RCEA) purpose is to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean resources available in the region". The RCEA currently has projects to reduce local businesses' energy consumption in Northern Humboldt County. In April 2008 RCEA worked with the Coast Central Credit Union and replaced 31 fluorescent bulbs in the Eureka branch.[2]

The Retrofit

In April 2008 the RCEA retrofitted the Coast Central Credit Union's (CCCU) office space lighting. RCEA replaced the existing lights with brighter and more energy efficient light fixtures in the office. The RCEA replaced 31 T12 light bulbs with 31 T8 lights- 26 in the main lobby and 5 in office spaces. Four of the T12s in the lobby were eight foot bulbs which were replaced with eight foot T8s. Three HL port flood lamps were replaced with three 19 watt Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL).

The Coast Central Credit Union moved to make the light upgrade after RCEA proposed the idea to Bob Boyd, the accounting manager for Coast Central Credit Union. A pushing factor for the retrofit was "primarily cost savings over time, the environment was a secondary benefit," says Boyd. He adds that they "probably would not have made the upgrade without RCEA's assistance. They made me aware of the savings and issues that the lights help". The Coast Central Credit Union has plans to work with RCEA in the future to retrofit another branch, says Boyd.

Costs

The installation cost for the light upgrade made by RCEA was $2,176.19. The Coast Central Credit Union was given an energy saving rebate of $919.86 from RCEA, the Coast Central Credit Union ended paying $1,256.33 for the retrofit.

Estimated Savings from the Retrofits

The RCEA estimated that the Coast Central Credit Union would benefit in the following ways:

  • They would save $797.70 per year
  • Their CO2 emissions would be reduced by 2,487 lbs/year
  • They would reduce energy use by 4,784 kWh/year
  • They would reduce power use by 1.854 kW

Retrofit Outcomes

According to the site manager, Gerry Davis, after the retrofit the light quality has improved in the lobby and office spaces. "The retrofit was a great success! The new lights are wonderful, now it is always bright enough in the office" commented Davis. At the office they are pleased with the new lights because the older lights they had been using "were not bright enough at times" and now they can always "easily work under bright new lights," says Gerry Davis. Light use habits did not change after the retrofit was made. The lights are turned on from 9-5 and during that time the employees are more content with the lights than prior to the retrofit.

Look at the Difference

In the year before RCEA's retrofit, the average energy used by the Coast Central Credit Union was about 2,800 kWh(kiloWatt hours) each month. Over the months since the retrofit, the energy consumption at the office has steadily decreased to 1,360 kWh, as shown in Figure 1, and as a result the Coast Central Credit Union saved $191 from last August's energy bill.

Actual Savings from the Retrofits

Table 1 shows the results a year after the lighting retrofit.

Table 1
Savings Estimated Actual
Energy 4,784 kWh/year 8,200 kWh/year
CO2 2,487 lbs/year 4,255 lbs/year
Money $797.70/year $1,367.00/year

Energy

The total energy used from April 2007 to April 2008 was 37,150 kWh. The energy used in a year after the retrofit was 28,960 kWh. The difference of the two gave the total energy saved of 8,200 kWh. This value is higher than the wattage reduction estimated by the RCEA, 4,784 kWh to be saved.

CO2 saved

The RCEA states the carbon dioxide to energy ratio is 0.519 lbs CO2 per kWh. Multiplying 0.519 lbs CO2 per kWh with the total energy used (8,200KWh) produces the reduction in pounds of CO2 which is 4,255 pounds of CO2.

Money saved

Using the RCEA's average price per kWh of $0.17 and multiplying it to the amount of kWh, Coast Central Credit Union saved $1,367/year and $114 a month, which is a greater savings from the projected RCEA estimates. At this rate of saving it will only take 11 months for the Coast Central Credit Union to make back the money invested into new light fixtures. (Total cost of the retrofit/monthly savings=Time to break even~$1,256.33/$114/month=11 months)


Figure 1

Additional Information

If you would like to learn more about Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs: EnergyStar.gov

References

  1. http://www.coastccu.org/locator/index.html
  2. http://www.redwoodenergy.org/ContentPage.asp?ContentID=92