When Rich Boucher, Chief Engineer at the Snowmass Club, made the decision to upgrade its 24/7 lighting in the facility’s underground parking garage, he wasn’t thinking about strengthening the athletic club’s economic resilience against a pandemic, although he achieved just that. Instead, Rich was looking to save time for his maintenance team. “It could take them 20 minutes to cross the campus in a golf cart to find the right light bulb. With the durability of LED lighting, those are bygone days.”

Freeing up manpower so the team can “focus on other things” is just one of the many benefits of the Snowmass Club’s forward-looking approach to energy efficiency. The LEDs, which the club also replaced in their indoor tennis facility and is slowly transitioning to throughout the entire 210-acre facility, are ensuring multiple benefits. They improve lighting quality, extend infrastructure lifespan, reduce kilowatt hours, lower carbon impact, and cut energy savings, all of which gives the Snowmass Club a competitive edge. And that really adds up during times of crisis.

Working with One Source Lighting, a locally-serving, Grand Junction-based contractor that Boucher credits with being the project’s catalyst, Rich oversaw the removal of the garage’s fleet of 150-watt metal halide lights, a powerful but inefficient light source that heats up to 2,000 degrees. In their place, the team installed 55-watt LED canopy lights that consume one third the power and have an eight- to 15-year lifespan. 

“LEDs are like an unsung hero, said One Source’s Josh McGuire. “They have a longer lifespan and no ballast, so there’s one less part that can go wrong.”

The project had a $13,497 budget, which was offset by rebates of $943 from CORE and $5,805 from Holy Cross Energy, cutting the club’s upfront costs in half. The energy improvements are estimated to save 36,643 kilowatt hours and $3,663 each year, resulting in a simple payback period of less than two years. This builds resiliency right into the mix because the savings will continue year after year, long past the initial investment is paid off.

“I almost thought it was too good to be true,” says Rich, “but with the help of commercial rebates from CORE and Holy Cross Energy, we were able to fast track two big projects. And working with One Source for products and installation, we kept dollars in the local community.”

Next up, the facility manager is looking forward to a free site visit from CORE to help maximize the club’s potential and unlock what he calls “unseen energy savings.” He wants to take the iconic club’s 30-year-old facilities “to the next level through energy efficiency.” 

Rich’s site visit from CORE will include an energy assessment that drills down into the energy performance of the club’s buildings, an evaluation of utility bills to identify where excess usage is going, and an advising session to identify estimated savings and ROI. The holistic approach to energy is part of CORE’s Path to Zero, a recently launched program that guides homeowners and businesses to zero carbon emissions. This community service is offered for free and tees up residents and businesses to access CORE’s suite of rebates, sweetening the pot further.

“There’s no catch,” says CORE’s Mike Bouchet, commercial energy programs manager. “We’re trying to help identify and incentivize energy improvements with great impact, to make sure there are no missed opportunities.” It’s all part of CORE’s mission to lead the Roaring Fork Valley to a carbon-free, net-zero energy future.

Is your business ready to bounce back with a healthier, more resilient facility? Sign up for our Path to Zero program to receive custom energy advising from Mike Bouchet, Commercial Programs Manager. Once you enroll, you’ll have free access to his expert advice, like the Top 3 cost-effective measures for businesses: LEDs, controls for lighting and heat tape, and mechanical system tune-ups.