When it comes to sustainability ambitions, the City of Fort Collins is one of the most forward-thinking in the nation. With its aggressive Climate Action Plan and its stated goal of an 80% reduction of emissions by 2030 and total carbon neutrality by 2050, they are constantly looking for ways to save energy, help the environment and save the taxpayers money. When the staff at the primary facility for the Streets Department—who are responsible for necessary civic services such as road maintenance, plowing and snow removal—noticed that their lighting needed an upgrade, they sought a lighting solution that combined aesthetic performance with industry-leading efficiency. Current’s Albeo LED Luminaire ABV3 was an obvious choice, and now Fort Collins—and the taxpayers—are reaping the rewards.
From “Black Hole” to Beautiful
Like many shop and warehouse spaces, the Streets facility used to be plagued by dark spots and an incessant need for lamp and ballast replacement. Not anymore.
“The Streets facility was lit with a linear T8 system throughout the facility,” City of Fort Collins Energy Manager Stu Reeve explained, “so the number of fixtures was amazing. By choosing the Albeo solution, we were able to cut the number of light fixtures down to around 25% of the number of fixtures that were there before—with a much longer life cycle and a much higher quality of lighting.”
With 80 CRI and a whopping 24,000 lumen output per fixture, it’s no surprise that the Albeo has turned heads with its superb lighting quality, and how few of them are needed to uniformly light a large space.
“We had dark areas in our shop before; we called this one area the ‘black hole’,” said City of Fort Collins Fleet Supervisor Don Meyer. “Now we have no dark areas, we have no shadows cast. It’s unbelievable how much the Albeos have changed our work area. It’s so bright, it’s unbelievable what it did. People are a lot happier with this lighting.”
With Huge Savings, Rebates and Zero Maintenance, Everyone Wins
We all know that the Albeo looks great and makes everyone’s lives easier, but what about its impact on the bottom line? As stewards of the taxpayer dollar, the City of Fort Collins is very pleased to announce that its huge energy savings—made possible thanks to the Albeo reaching up to 200 lumens/watt—are passed on to ordinary citizens, too.
“Savings back to taxpayers is really one of the focal points for the city,” Reeve explained. “This particular installation, with the savings that we see, will have a tremendous impact on our utility bills here. So the taxpayer savings are probably going to be somewhere in the $50,000 range if you think about the lifetime of this fixture installation.”
The City of Fort Collins was so happy with these results they installed Albeos in other projects around the city, too.
“We can attribute a solid 30-40% savings in our Albeo fixture installations across the city,” according to Reeve. “We’ve used them in several facilities now and really have seen the reduction. Part of my job is to track that savings and really justify how we continue to move forward with funding for these kinds of retrofits to enhance our economics. The Current Albeo fixtures really do fit well with our program.”
The City of Fort Collins has identified the Albeos as a key player in the push toward eventual carbon neutrality, and the city has received a lot of help from utility providers in the form of rebates.
“For the Streets project, we were able to leverage over $6,800 in rebates through Efficiency Work and Fort Collins utilities, alongside Platte River Power Authority,” Reeve continued. “That $6,800 in rebates covered probably a third of the project. We were able to leverage those rebates to pay down that installation. We definitely see a really strong return on investment on this fixture.”
With the combination of a strong ROI through tremendous energy savings of 30-40% and thousands of dollars in rebates, the Albeo’s benefits are obvious. And that’s before adding its built-in occupancy sensor capabilities to the mix.
“The Albeo fixture has the option of each fixture having its own occupancy sensor and lighting control, so as you walk through a facility, each fixture turns on as needed and then turns back off when it’s no longer needed. It really reduces the energy use just because the lights are only on in the areas that you need them,” Reeve explained.
But the reduction in maintenance doesn’t stop there. The fixtures are not only tremendously easy to install, but they’re also even easier to maintain. This huge reduction in maintenance hours frees up valuable time and resources.
“The Albeo installation is super easy,” City of Fort Collins Master Electrician Bryan Garrett said. “Albeo’s maintenance—they’re rated at 100,000 hours—means that once they’re installed, we don’t worry about them. We’ve got to find something else to do with our time. It gives us time to fill in other areas where we’re lacking.”
Happy to Be Your Neighbor
Current offers great support in Colorado through its regional sales representative, Fisher Lighting & Controls (FLC).
“Working with Fisher Lighting & Controls was really a unique opportunity,” Reeve said. “It was the first time we really got to work with Joe [Fisher] and his team, and they really took it from the concept that our electrician had for the type of fixture he wanted to use, and then FLC came in and took the measurements and designed the system from top to bottom. Hats off and kudos to Fisher Lighting for how they’ve been so supportive and great to work with.”
Reeve knows that Current is there to back them up, if need be. “One of the things we’ve learned over the years,” he said, “is that if you don’t go with a really good fixture, warranty issues come up and sometimes those companies aren’t even in business anymore. We really feel like that Current fixtures are really backed, they’re solid, the warranties are awesome, we know the company’s history, and we know they’ll be around for a long time.”
One Happy City
This all adds up to one happy customer. The City of Fort Collins is saving huge amounts of money and passing the savings on to taxpayers, the Streets staff is much happier and more productive, and they feel completely supported by the Current community. There’s not much more you could ask for in a retrofit.
Reeve sums it up nicely: “The City of Fort Collins really believes that the Current Albeo fixtures are really a great choice for these high bay installations for any business out there—not just for the city of Fort Collins. I think they are definitely a high-quality product that should be used in any applicable application.”
Albeo has transformed the City of Fort Collins’s outlook on its climate plan and made employees’ jobs much easier. What can it do for your business? Get in touch with us today to find out.