A lighting conversion in the parking structure at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, through a Southern California Edison rebate program, is realizing a savings of 341,716 kilowatt-hours back to the power grid. And that’s just the beginning.
Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa recently completed a lighting conversion of its parking structure. While this might not sound dazzling on its surface, a closer look reveals there is more to this story than just a bunch of light bulbs. The conversion included replacing 175-watt light bulbs with 40-watt LED bulbs. A total of 551 of them on just this one project alone. 
This change of light bulbs in the parking structure results in 30 percent more lighting and better optics, meaning that the light can be directed exactly where it is needed and wanted. What’s more, this translates back to the community as a 341,716 kilowatt-hour savings to the power grid.  A similar lighting conversion in the parking lot is slated, which will include replacing 1,000-watt high-pressure sodium bulbs with 160-watt LED bulbs, 164 bulbs in total, amounting to a 690,198 kilowatt-hour savings.  The total savings for both of these parking areas is 1,031,914 kilowatt-hours going back to the grid.
“Pay back to SCE on both projects will take less than two years,” the property’s Director of Facilities Jim Stone says. Not too bad for a bunch of light bulbs.
While the parking area lighting projects comprise a complete conversion, other lighting changes on the resort’s property happen incrementally. Lighting conversion projects also underway include lighting upgrades inside the building, such as LED lights in all of the 340 guest rooms, the restaurant kitchens, the basement and other facilities. About 25 percent of the overall property lighting conversion has taken place so far. As lights need to be replaced, it’s out with the old and in with the new technology.  The property has stopped ordering energy-hogging fluorescents and instead orders energy cost saving and kilowatt-hour saving LEDs.
Adding to the energy efficiency lighting conversion projects, planned participation in demand savings, which is when businesses agree to cut back on consumption during peak times, allows for further sharing of the savings with the community in kilowatt-hours back to the grid.
“If we can have customers like Agua Caliente reduce during heavy demand times or even just participate in the energy efficiency portion of it,” Maya Aubrey of Southern California Edison says, “that helps to mitigate the opportunity for brown outs or other power reductions. If we can get our customers to participate at that level, then it certainly is contributing across the board.”
“It’s a series of small pictures making a fantastic big picture,” Stone says. Such as another recent energy and utility cost saving project, an HVAC conversion, that Aubrey says equaled an additional 350,000 kilowatt-hour savings.
For 2015, the partner projects that were completed saved a total of 593,905 kilowatt hours annually, with the total energy savings attained through Edison’s programs between 2006-2015 being 1,576,099 kilowatt hours. “This kilowatt hour savings,” Aubrey says, “is equivalent to removing 229 passenger cars from the road!”