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#212149 12/17/13 12:11 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,291
A couple of weeks ago my chiropractor had an SCE representative come into his office.

In commercial buildings built before a certain date, they have a program that will replace all the lamps and ballasts in the building with no cost to the customer, because it saves them money in the end.

2 electricians showed up the next morning, and changed:

(12) 4' fluorescent acrylic lensed wraparounds from T12 to T8
(40') Fluorescent strip uplights mounted in a soffit, T12 to T8
(4) Enclosed A lamp fixtures to CFL
(2) Recessed Round lamps
(4) Exterior Spot lamps

They got all this done in just 1 hour, cleanup included shocked

I know that SoCalEd isn't the only involved in this kind of thing.

What are some of your power companies' programs?

PS, Where can I hire these guys grin

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 931
Likes: 1
One hour??? Dang! They are quick.

With that kind of time seems like some shortcuts were taken. Did they even swap out the ballasts? Opening up fixtures can be a pain, and a soffit can amplify the difficulty factor.
Years ago, part of a fixture change out in the showroom of a tire store in the SF Bay Area, there were no Lithonia wraps (LB series) w/ T8 ballasts avail on the West Coast so the T12's were pulled & T8 ballasts installed, it got so I could uncrate the the fixture, strip out the old ballasts & replace the ballast in 10 min a fixture, & that was on the ground, ladder work is much slower.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,788
Likes: 14
Did they use that "one piece" replacement kit? We had a road warrior pitching it at an ECF lunch a few months ago. Basically you just rip everything out of the can, hook up the 3 wires from the branch circuit, snap the new part in and put in the lamps.
It replaces the ballast, keystones and wiring, all in one part.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,291

They used traditional ballasts and lamps for the retrofit, not 1 piece units. The lampholders were replaced on an "as needed" basis. I opened 1 up to check, because I was so curious and amazed.

The fluorescent wraps were (11)Lithonia LB240s, and (1) LB440, 2 and 4 lamp fixtures respectively. They changed the ballasts in these, as well as the soffit strips.

They used wagos exclusively.

The last big push SCE had was solar panels. They offered subsidies for customers who wanted to go solar.

A friend of mine got a panel upgrade, the solar panels themselves, and the inverters and disconnects installed for free by a private contractor commissioned by SCE.

The original question still remains smile
What freebie, rebate, or subsidy type programs does your POCO offer?

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,788
Likes: 14
I guess if you do it all day, you get good at it.
That is an interesting program. I would like to see a pencil put to the numbers. I find it hard to believe it actually saves them money unless there is a government subsidy. I assume your dependence on so much hydro limits new construction and that tends to be shoved into renewables so the economics are different than a utility that just tacks on another gas boiler.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273

The California PUC has long had programs that subsidized 'nega-watts' -- lamp substitution programs. These go back many, many, many years.

In the fulness of time, don't be surprised to find out that the troops are from an independent contractor pursuant to the Poco's 'nega-watts' side deal with the PUC. Getting rid of peak load demand has been proven to be much cheaper than building more peak load demand. SCE just doesn't have access to ultra-cheap hydro-electric power; which, BTW, is ideal for load trimming -- beyond all other power sources.

While the talent is certain to be represented by the IBEW; (Davis-Bacon terms have to apply) you should figure that the program normally specifies that the actual contracting party is a third party.

This stops Poco customers from suing Southern California Edison over trivial issues -- and makes it possible for SCE to swap out contractors if things go south.

I can only imagine that the contractor has a working scheme that's awesome: a rolling warehouse of swap ins.

Buying as many components as they do, their materials prices have to be the best on offer. The program manager/ estimator can probably floor-walk the prospective job -- and wirelessly load up a work order.

Paid by the Poco, the contractor doesn't have to chase his money! Pricing -- in the contract -- must be some variation of piece-work.

The whole scheme takes one back to Thomas A. Edison -- who never wanted to sell kWHr -- he wanted to sell lumens. He envisioned that his crews would re-enter customer locations and upgrade them to suit the Poco's economics, which is what the 'nega-watts' program really represents.

I'm must admit, I'm astounded that a TWO man crew could possibly swap out that many devices in one-hour. For me, with my experiences, I don't believe it. If nothing else, there's going to be too much customer stuff in the way. And, working too fast triggers injuries -- particularly cut fingers around all of the sharp fixtures.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
Here is a listing of our utilities "power smart" offerings

Power Smart Programs & Rebates

Agricultural Heat Pads
Switch from heat lamps to heat pads in farrowing crates to reduce your electricity costs by up to 70 per cent.

Building Envelope
Upgrade your building's envelope, including air barriers, insulation, and windows, to reduce air leaks, and heating and cooling loads.

Building Optimization
Identify energy conservation opportunities with short payback periods, which will help return commercial buildings to their top intended performance.

Clothes Washers
ENERGY STARŪ front-loading commercial clothes washers can save water and lower your business' operating costs.
Custom Measures

Electrical and natural gas savings and measures custom-designed for commercial buildings.

Geothermal Heat Pumps
Cut your heating, cooling, and water heating costs and increase comfort with energy efficient and environmentally friendly geothermal heat pumps.

Reduce maintenance and operating costs through the use of energy efficient heating, ventilation, and cooling systems.

Kitchen Appliances
Upgrade your commercial steamers and fryers to save on your annual energy bills and qualify for rebates.

Tips and incentives to install the most appropriate energy efficient lighting in new construction and renovation projects.

Network Energy Management Program
Rebate available for eligible software programs that manage personal computer energy use.

New Buildings Program
Design, build and operate your new building to Power Smart standards; we offer technical guidance and financial incentives.

Parking Lot Controllers
Depending on outside temperatures, control the amount of electricity going to an outdoor plug to reduce your electricity costs by up to 50 per cent.

PAYS Financing
Extended term financing for energy efficiency upgrades.

Recreation Facilities
Work towards reducing your facility's operating costs by completing our survey. We'll review and provide you a report that includes potential energy saving measures.

More than 15 different incentives for retail stores and restaurants to make energy efficient equipment upgrades.

Religious Buildings
Through an assessment and financial support, find out how you can reduce your energy costs

Last edited by mbhydro; 12/17/13 08:05 PM. Reason: Format better
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
One other thing they are big on was compressed air systems.

As an example Manitoba Hydro went through the 2 major rail shops/yards in Winnipeg and saved both the CN and CP railways thousands of dollars of electrical usage by modifying their air systems.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,333
Likes: 7
One POCO here(NJ) had 'lighting rebates' and retro deals way back in the early/mid '80s.

Jobs were mostly 'sold' by ECs, work performed by ECs, paid by customer, who received the rebate from POCO.

One of the deals was 'cash back' after an 'auditor' from the POCO checked the install. $$$ in a check, plus the reduction in the monthly bill.

One I remember a few details, F40-T12 lamps to F32/34 T12 with a watt miser ballast. Did about 900 fixtures in a catholic school which got about $3-$4K. Also, replaced incandescent fixtures in the church with MH uplights, for another $4-$5K.

They also had $$ for efficient motors, VFDs, furnaces, water heaters, and appliances.

I do not know if there are any active rebates now.

Last edited by HotLine1; 12/17/13 10:54 PM. Reason: added additional text

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,788
Likes: 14
FPL has some energy rebate programs but they are all passive.
If you buy some energy saving deal, they give you a few bucks.
They are not sending crews around to do the work.

I also assume there are some federal bucks behind these programs. (probably buried in the tax code)

Greg Fretwell
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