Lighting changes at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton are leading to big savings. The building – which is 103 years old – is saving about $33,000 per year after replacing more than 3,500 fixtures with LEDs. That will reduce electric consumption by 518,000 kilowatt-hours annually, according to the East Oregonian.
It’s a good deal: Labor is free – it’s done by the prisoners – and the EOCI received $70,000 in cash incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon. The project focused on indoor lighting and took a year-and-a-half. Perimeter lighting will be tackled as well.
The EOCI has more than 1,600 inmates. The project is part of the Oregon Department of Correction’s effort to meet the state’s ten year Energy Action Plan, which was adopted in 2012.
The economics of LEDs work out over time because they last so long. However, upfront costs can be high. There may be an answer to that challenge: A team at Florida State University is developing a high efficiency but low cost LED made of organic and inorganic materials. The key, according to NDTV Gadgets, is that it is far simpler to manufacture than current LEDs.