In 2020, you’ll see downtown in a whole new light! The improvement is thanks to Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and SWEPCO’s participation in the LPSC Energy Efficiency program for public entities and political subdivisions. That’s a mouthful, but the upshot is that $2.5m from SWEPCO was used to fund nine lighting improvement projects in NW Louisiana; the DDA and downtown was one of the nine.
The DDA’s $217,452 fully-funded grant will allow us to replace all the bulbs on the map above with energy efficient LED lighting. The LED will replace the current Metal Halide bulbs that cost more to run and also degrade over time. If you’ve ever noticed while driving downtown that some bulbs seem dimmer than others, that could be the fact that Metal Halide bulbs lose 5-10% of their illumination each year until finally leveling off. “These new fixtures will improve lighting and lower electric bills by thousands of dollars for these public institutions,” PSC Commissioner Campbell said.“Energy efficiency reduces energy costs, improves building comfort and preserves our environment. Every dollar that our local governments and public bodies save on their electric bills is a dollar that can help them improve service to the public in other ways.”
DDA will be working with the City and SWEPCO (both own and work on the majority of downtown public space lighting) to determine the best lighting colors (cool, warm, etc.). This is an important thing to get right. A ‘warm’ white LED might look like a traditional incandescent bulb, while a ‘cool’ white LED could look more like daylight! It’s also important that the light flow downward, toward the sidewalk and street, instead of upward toward rooftops. We will be learning a lot about lighting in the weeks to come. As quickly as we can gather the necessary information, we will be putting the project out for public bid, so keep checking back here for updated details.
Other downtown entities were also awarded grants including: LSU-Shreveport, Southern University, and Shreve Memorial Library. Congratulations to all
The LPSC Energy Efficiency program for public entities and political subdivisions is an offshoot of the commission’s “Quick Start” Energy Efficiency program, which since 2014 has helped residential and commercial utility customers lower their electricity consumption across Louisiana. Participating utilities are SWEPCO, Entergy and CLECO.