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Las Animas County has earned a $12,008.91 rebate through San Isabel Electric’s commercial lighting rebate program. Las Animas County taxpayers could save thousands of dollars throughout the next year because of the LED light installations in several buildings at the Las Animas County Fairgrounds.

In addition to earning a San Isabel Electric rebate, the project was intended to not only save money on energy bills but also to reduce lighting maintenance costs and to improve the color and quality of lighting in the buildings.

The new LEDs are all ENERGY STAR qualified and are expected to last 15 to 25 times longer than the traditional bulbs and fixtures they replaced.

Las Animas County Facilities Supervisor Ken Bowman hopes the new lighting will make the halls even more appealing to potential renters. Bowman said the fairgrounds’ buildings are used by several community groups for special events such as baby showers, barbecues, rodeos and more.

“Before people used to complain how dark the buildings were. Now they’re like, wow, when we turn the lights on. Now they’re saying they need sunglasses. They really like it. The brighter lights make everything easier to see,” Bowman said.

Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light. 90 percent of their energy is given off as heat and that lost energy is money we are throwing away, according to Redwing Electric, the contractor who facilitated the upgrade project.

Redwing Electric replaced several different lighting types at the fairgrounds with LED lights because of their durability and performance in cold environments. They added timers, automatic daylight shutoff and motion sensors to save additional money and energy.

The Las Animas County Fairgrounds now features nearly 150 LED fixtures and nearly 570 linear feet of LED bulbs.

Las Animas County recycled the lights that they could. Some of the traditional fluorescents that were removed from the fairgrounds were used to replace broken fixtures at the jail. The high-beam lights will eventually be put up for auction.

In 2017, more than $83,000 in rebates were returned to members. While there are numerous energy-efficiency rebates available to consumers, only San Isabel Electric Members are eligible to participate in San Isabel Electric’s residential and commercial rebate programs.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the co-op San Isabel Electric purchases power from, provided $8,482.41 of the Las Animas County Fairground’s rebate. San Isabel Electric provided $3,526.50 of the rebate.

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As a not-for-profit cooperative utility, San Isabel Electric provides affordable, reliable electricity with exceptional service to communities throughout southern Colorado. Serving nearly 20,000 Member-owners and 24,000 meters, San Isabel Electric has been keeping the lights on since 1938. We don’t just serve communities. We are part of communities.