“Weber State University’s sustainability team and partners are empowering Northern Utah residents with the resources to save energy and money while reducing pollution on a community-wide scale” through the Empower Northern Utah light bulb exchange program, states the program’s information page.
“The Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC) and the Energy and Sustainability Office (ESO) have run community programs since 2015,” said Academic Sustainability Coordinator Bonnie Christiansen with the goal to encourage sustainable practices in the community. Since its beginning, it has run a solar, electric vehicle, and two electric lawn mower programs. “The first program…in 2015 with the Susie Hulet Community Solar program…helped over 140 families install solar on their homes. Over the last two years SPARC and ESO collaborated with the State of Utah and Utah Clean Air (UCAIR) to help over 1,250 households upgrade from gas-powered mowers to electric mowers, which had the same environmental impact as reducing over 6 million vehicle miles traveled,” said Christiansen.
This year, from Sept. 7 through Nov. 16, all community members can exchange used incandescent and CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs for new energy-efficient LED bulbs at zero cost, while supplies last. The program’s page informs readers that “LED bulbs use nearly 90% less energy than traditional bulbs and 15% less than CFL bulbs while providing the same amount of light. Unlike CFL bulbs, LED bulbs contain no mercury.
Upgrading light fixtures that are often used with LED light bulbs can save residents up to $12 a year, per bulb. Exchanging 15 bulbs could cut annual utility cost by more than $100.” They also explain that the higher energy efficiency means less emissions from coal-fired power plants, resulting in better air quality and a healthier climate.
The event will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the WSU Community Education Center, and then the exchange will be held twice a week at two locations during the duration of the program, on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. at the WSU Community Education Center in Ogden and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Main branch of the Weber County Library. Participants are instructed to simply bring a bag of their inefficient bulbs to one of the designated locations during the designated times and trade them for new LED bulbs, ready to be installed. Those interested in this rare opportunity are encouraged to participate early. “We have 4,500 bulbs to give out. We will not be receiving any more, so first come, first served,” said WSU Sustainability Coordinator Jenn Bodine.
“Changing a light bulb is an easy way to save money and help ensure a healthy, livable climate for current and future generations,” said Christiansen.
To learn more about the Empower Northern Utah program and participation details, visit www.weber.edu/empower. To learn more about the Weber State University Sustainability program and its events visit www.weber.edu/sustainability.