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UI Benefits From Campus Switch to LEDs Through Avista Program

February 10, 2017

The University of Idaho is already seeing bright economic benefits from a recent upgrade to LED lamps.

A fall 2016 project to upgrade more than 66,000 lights across campus as part of an Avista energy-efficiency program is estimated to yield savings of more than $355,000 annually. UI will also receive a rebate of $1,044,365 from Avista for taking advantage of the program.

The rebate will be presented to UI during a presentation at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, from Avista to UI President Chuck Staben in the third floor lobby of the College of Education Building on campus.

The project is the result of an assessment completed in fall 2016 by Quantum Energy. The company employed 22 students to count and replace 66,815 fluorescent lights with T-8 LED blubs in more than 85 buildings on the Moscow campus and at UI’s facilities in Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. UI spent about $47,500 on the project - to pay for disposal of old fluorescent lamps and any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by the rebate.

“This successful project highlights the University of Idaho’s commitment to sustainability and efficiency,” Staben said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with Avista on an exciting project that saves money and allows us to reinvest in critical areas.”

UI estimates the increased efficiency and decreased maintenance will save the university approximately $355,000 annually. That money can now go either into other infrastructure needs or to support students in some other manner.

In addition to cost savings, the program has improved interior lighting quality, eliminated harmful ultraviolet radiation and reduced UI’s emissions of greenhouse gasses.

“The numbers are really impressive,” said Avista account executive Jayson Hunnel. “The university is saving 5.6 million kilowatt-hours of energy―that’s enough to power nearly 600 homes for an entire year.”

Lights in an additional 68 campus buildings are still awaiting the switch to LED technology and will be changed out on an annual rotating basis through normal operations and maintenance.  

“Our facilities staff put a lot of effort into fulfilling the goals of this project,” said Dan Ewart, vice president for infrastructure. “The entire university community will benefit from their efforts and from the partnership with Avista.”

The next energy-efficiency program at UI will focus on re-lamping an estimated 850 of the 1,255 exterior lights around campus.

“We’re always looking for energy-saving opportunities,” said Dan Johnson, director of energy efficiency at Avista. “And we have a great partner in the University of Idaho.”

Media Contacts: 
Jodi Walker
Director of Communications
University of Idaho

Colette Bottinelli
Senior Communications Manager
Avista Corporation

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: