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This project would retrofit the lighting system in the West Remote Parking Lot. We would replace the 14 High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights with 14 LED lights. This would increase energy efficiency by replacing current 95W fixtures with 32W fixtures and reduce electricity consumption by 66%. This project would reduce the university’s carbon footprint by 1.2 metric tons of CO2e per year. Since 23% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions come from electricity generation (the second largest sector after transportation) (AB 32 Scoping Plan, 2008), this is a direct way to mitigate against climate change.
This lighting retrofit would also improve the light quality of the parking structure, since LED lights have a higher Color Rendition Index (CRI) of 75-95, compared to 23-28 for the High Pressure Sodium bulbs. The light therefore appears brighter, making it easier to see people from a distance and enhancing campus safety as a result. Moreover, no new HPS lamps would need to be installed for at least 20 years, which would reduce the amount of waste generated by the campus.
LED lights have been successfully installed as pilot tests at various locations on campus, namely Kerr Hall, but a large retrofit has yet to be completed. This new technology has proven potential to reduce electricity consumption, and our estimate payback time is 12 years accounting for reduced maintenance and labor costs, while the lifespan of the LEDs is 20 years as an average. Adopting efficient lighting systems more frequently in campus buildings would strengthen UCSC’s image as up to date with environmentally friendly technological innovation. It is exciting for current and future students. By targeting the West Remote parking lot, we aim to engage a diversity of students, faculty and staff, with the aim to institutionalize energy efficiency and sustainable energy use.