Northwest Community Action leads by example with lighting upgrade

February 2020

Leading with LEDs

Northwest Community Action works to improve the energy efficiency, comfort, and safety of homes for the families they serve through energy audits and weatherization services.

A recent LED lighting upgrade in their office in Badger, MN helped them reduce their own energy use and lead by example.

Serving families in need

Northwest Community Action is deeply involved with assisting their clients in efforts to become more self sufficient. One of the areas that they stress most heavily is energy conservation. They assist clients by performing energy audits and weatherizing their homes, as well as installing energy efficient furnaces and water heaters and making other housing repairs such as windows, and doors which promote energy conservation.

We preach the importance of energy conservation to our clients and this project allows us to lead by example.  Our clients will see that we not only talk about the importance of energy conservation, but we also take steps to promote it within the agency. Beyond this, the energy savings realized will allow us to assist a greater number of clients.

Timothy Anacabe, Northwest Community Action

What improvements were made?

  • 89 2x4 office fixtures changed from four T12 lamps totaling 192 watts per fixture to just 39 watts LED flat panels
  • 4  2x2 office fixtures with T12s at 91 watts per fixture changed to 20 watt LED flat panels
  • 5 recessed incandescent flood 65 watt bulbs to 13 watt LEDs

Tips for others thinking about lighting upgrades:

Northwest Community Action definitely recommends upgrading to LED lights, they're a no-brainer and pay back quickly with energy savings.

  1. Check in with their utility to see if they offer rebates.
  2. Some organizations might also consider funding from USDA or CERTs.
  3. For income-qualified residents in need of assistance, check in with your local utility and Community Action Agency to see about energy audits, basic improvements, and deeper weatherization.

Project Snapshot

  • Technology: Lighting upgrades
  • Northwest CERT Seed Grant: $3,000
  • Total Project Cost: $16,131.20
  • Other Funds: Utility rebates, USDA Rural Development
  • Project Team: Tim Anacabe (Northwest Community Action), Laura Petit (USDA Rural Development), Roger Garton (Otter Tail Power Company), Todd Truedson (Todd’s Electric)
  • People Involved and Reached: 1,301
  • Annual Energy Savings: 32,618 kWh

Without the financial assistance that was provided, we would not have been able to proceed with this project, which was very important to us.

Timothy Anacabe, Northwest Community Action

We encourage reuse and republishing of this story. All Clean Energy Resource Teams stories are made available under the Creative Commons Attribution license, meaning you can share and adapt the work as long as you give us credit. We'd also love it if you link back to the original piece. Have questions or want to chat? Drop us a line.