The project includes new light emitting diode technology in elevators, recessed downlights and outdoor signage

Harrah’s Rincon casino-resort and Lime Energy announced Wednesday the completion of an energy efficiency retrofit project that has produced significant benefits to the resort and to the environment. The project includes new light emitting diode (LED) technology in elevators, recessed downlights and outdoor signage. Lighting with LED uses about one-seventh to one-tenth the energy of standard lighting and lasts at least 10 times longer, to significantly reduce maintenance costs.

In addition to utility bill savings, the permanent reduction of 2 million kilowatt-hours per year in energy use generates the following environmental benefits each year: -- Avoids the emission of 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which is the leading cause of global warming
  • Avoids the emission of 1,200 pounds of sulfur dioxide, which is the leading cause of acid rain
  • Avoids the emission of 1,600 pounds of nitrogen dioxide, which is the leading cause of smog and acid precipitation
  • The emissions avoided are the equivalent of removing 150 passenger cars permanently from the road
"Our goal was to save energy in a way that would not diminish our guest experience," said Brendan O'Kane, property operations manager for Harrah's Rincon. "The lighting technology provided by Lime Energy helped us exceed our goal by delivering energy savings of $200,000 per year, and significantly reducing my maintenance budget. This is really a great win for all of us because not only are we saving money here at the resort, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by taking less electricity from the grid."

LED lighting provides the same visual impact as the technology it replaces, so unless a person was one of a few experts in the field, the difference would never be noticed, said Cliff Knutson, director of lighting technology for Lime Energy.

"Lighting with LED allows the property owner to select the color of the lights, and choose the maximum light output or 'brightness', without giving up the dimming capability," said Knutson. "Probably the best benefit of all is the incredibly long life, so when considering a casino's 24/7 operation, this is extremely important since constantly changing burned out lights is disruptive."

Dan Parke, president and COO of Lime Energy, noted that Lime Energy is independent from any manufacturer, which allows it to select the best choice among several new technologies to meet the specific needs of each customer. “This installation is another example of innovation to help solve the serious problem of global warming,” Parke said. “We are putting people to work through these energy efficiency retrofits, and it feels good to contribute positively to the climate issue and helping to improve the economy."