City of Decatur

Client Overview

Founded in 1829, the City of Decatur is located in Central Illinois. The city has vast industrial and agricultural processing production, represented in part by Archer Daniels Midland, Tate & Lyle, Mueller and Caterpillar.

Decatur is the original home of Abraham Lincoln and the Chicago Bears. The original library was built in 1902 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie.

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1. Client Challenge:

A downturn in Illinois’s economy in the 2000s led to less money being available for city budgets. Aging infrastructures put an addition strain on maintaining services. A win, win solution was to update energy using systems that would also reduce operating costs.

RTS performed an audit of city buildings. RTS evaluated a number of variables including least life cycle costs, recommended light levels, occupancy controls, reduced lamp inventory, lamp color, initial cost, and cost to maintain moving forward.

2. Lighting Solution:

Retro-Tech performed lighting upgrades in the City’s Transportation Group ( Administration, Bus Barn and Transit Center), Fire Department, Municipal Service Center, Parking Garage and Water Department.

The project included the replacement, conversion, or retrofit of over 2,000 fixtures.. Both interior and exterior areas were addressed. Fixtures were upgraded with new T8 lamps and current technology electronic ballasts. Older fluorescent fixtures using eight foot lamps were retrofitted to use current four foot lamps, reducing inventory types. Where appropriate, occupancy controls were installed in areas with continuous operation.

Most incandescent fixtures were retrofitted screw-in LED lamps. All exit signs were replaced with new LED signs. Exterior building lighting, pathways and parking lots were upgraded to LED. Indoor recreation facilities with existing 400w metal halide fixtures and 400w high pressure sodium fixtures were replaced with new T5HO fixtures. The Meagher Aquatic Center’s main pool has new LED lighting system.

3. The Results:

The energy savings for a project of this magnitude were significant. The kW and kWh were reduced 21% and 25% respectively. The five departments expect to realize over $60,000 in annual savings. The maintenance savings were also significant. The upgraded lighting systems will see an increase in lamp life ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 hours for linear fluorescents; 20,000 to 50,000 hours for HID to LED; and 2,000 to 25,000 hours for incandescents to LED.