LITTLE FALLS - The City of Lights in historic, downtown Little Falls will shine a bit brighter and more energy efficient this holiday season thanks to the PowerGrant rebate program sponsored by Minnesota Power, the chamber reported.
The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has sponsored the City of Lights for the community since 1991. About 10,000 bulbs outline 53 buildings in the downtown area that are lit from Thanksgiving to the New Year. The existing incandescent bulbs, that were inefficient and highly susceptible to the whims of Mother Nature, were replaced with brilliant, long-lasting, energy-efficient light emitting diode or LED bulbs.
The LED bulbs use 75 to 90 percent less energy than the standard incandescent bulbs, last up to 10 times longer and are virtually maintenance free.
"The decision to retro-fit the buildings was an easy one for the Chamber Board of Directors to make," said Chamber President/CEO Debora K. Boelz in a news release. "The maintenance of the lights was beyond the scope of what volunteers could be expected to do and adding the increasing energy costs, this was an expensive program for the chamber."
Chamber-member electricians Central Minnesota Electric, Hauer Brothers Electric and Jim's Electric all donated time and expertise to retro-fitting the buildings. Community volunteers assisted with swapping out the old bulbs on lower roof lines.
The new LED bulbs are expected to last 100,000 hours, saving more than $2,000 in annual operating and maintenance costs. Additional savings will be realized with reduced energy consumption. By replacing the 7-watt incandescent holiday bulbs with 1.32-watt LED, the energy savings is 52,256 kwh hours of electricity and $5,000 annually.
The rebate received was $17,040. The chamber encourages business owners to consider retro-fitting their buildings - inside and outside. To learn more about the PowerGrant rebate program, contact Minnesota Power's Conservation Improvement Program at www.mnpower.com/powergrant or call (800) 228-4966, ext. 2909.
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