Orange County: OCEIP Light Energy Efficiency Retrofit Project

OCEIP Light Energy Efficiency Retrofit Project


Project Description

OCEIP is the only rural innovation and entrepreneurship incubation park in the state centered around renewable energy, waste biomass, and plant based economies. These collaborative businesses work together to form a "tool chest" for resiliency strategies for sustainable community economic development that is both replicable and appropriately scalable in both urban and rural communities. It demonstrates the GOAL Model, a decentralized, closed-loop, multi-nodal, waste-to-fuel-to-transportation, renewable energy system; and The Hemp Collaborative and Green Oil BioFarma. These systems can allow other recycled waste, or plant-based economy business strategies can be added synergistically, lower overhead and cost, sharing expenses, and one business taking on the waste stream of another as feedstock. The 10Kft 2 building, 3 acres, and location close to the convergence of I40 and I85 make the eco park an ideal site for demonstrating sustainable technology and serving the regional farm community with a range of services.

The goal of the Light Conversion Project is to raise $10K, to which Duke Energy will match, and replace all of the building's lighting systems. Currently, we have over 200 4-8ft T12 light fixtures that are over 30 years old and would like to replace them with a mixture of T8 LED fixtures. The replacement of these old fixtures with new, energy efficient units will result in an enormous cost savings and energy and pollution reduction for the site. Duke Energy will also install the units for free and provide financing terms. It will also install PCSTAT graphic interface cards on all 4 HVAC systems to fine tune and control the efficiency of AC and Heating.


  • Carbon reduction, pollution reduction, cost savings
  • Energy efficiency retrofit
  • Support of green businesses and non-profits

Negawatts and Energy Efficiency? 8

Electric lighting is responsible for over one quarter of the energy used in commercial buildings in the US. The typical T12 four-lamp fixture uses 172 watts of power between the lamps and ballast. LED equivalents typically use only 50 watts, 71% less energy per fixture. Not only are they brighter per watt, they also last longer than even the preferred florescent bulbs. T8 and T5 bulbs can last up to 4 years, and LED bulbs can last up to 10 years. Currently, the OCEIP building is using over 4k KWHs per month at $.138/KWH, or approximately $600/month of which over half of the energy is lighting. Moving from T12s to T5s for areas needing more natural light, growing and office areas, and LEDs for storage and manufacturing, will save on average 60% of our current lighting or as much as $200 per month.

That's $2400 per year, or 14k KWHs per year. That equals 3k+4.5K+900= 8400lbs of CO2 (800g/kwh of coal x.12(% of Duke energy mix) + 500g for gas x .30 and 60g for nuclear x .5), or 4 tons of CO2 per year, paying back the initial $10K investment in less than 2 years. Savings after that can go to support our non-profit's work in environmental education and justice, or emissions that could be sold or traded for mitigation. In addition, this will also lower maintenance costs, improve safety, and reduce pollution from mercury, CO2 and other air toxics, as well as other materials that would have gone into the manufacture of replacement bulbs or the energy to produce them.

  • Renewable Energy Produced - 1
  • Carbon Sequestration- 1
  • Local Resiliency 4

Given that the products used in this retrofit will likely be sourced from outside the 100 miles, purchased directly from distributors because of the volume and likely manufactured outside the US, resiliency will be low. Labor will be sourced locally, and the savings and reduced impacts will be accrued regionally (Piedmont of NC).

Systems or Lifecycle Approach 3

Because this energy efficiency retrofit is relatively simple one-time project, its lifecycle is limited, though its benefits accrue into the future.

Social and Environmental Justice 3

Because this is a one time installation, manufacturing done out of our control, (though we will try to follow the supply chains to make sure the manufacturers are fair and just) and the labor is contracted by Duke energy, the level of social and env. Justice will be low. However, we make all attempts to offer training during installation to minority communities to make it a learning experience, using our non-profit to offer paid training to local community groups and community college.

History/Status(Submission Date-Termination date)

start up/one time energy efficiency retrofit (5/2020)