REC jumps aboard county’s Dark Skies Ini­tia­tive

‘REC has re­placed about 50 of their leased non-LED pole lights, with an­other 190 re­main­ing in the county’

Rappahannock News - - NEWS - By Tor­ney Van acker Spe­cial to the Rap­pa­han­nock News

The Rap­pa­han­nock Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive (REC) has joined forces with the Rap­pa­han­nock League for En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (RLEP) to re­place older un­shielded out­door pole light­ing with newer en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient fully down­shielded LED fix­tures that are dark skies friendly.

This is a to­tally vol­un­teer pro­gram. Since of­fer­ing free re­place­ment, REC has re­placed about 50 of their leased non-LED pole lights, with an­other 190 re­main­ing in the county that are still el­i­gi­ble for free re­place­ment.

In Septem­ber 2017, RLEP ap­proached REC about re­plac­ing their leased non-LED light­ing (mer­cury and sodium va­por) with newer en­ergy-ef­fi­cient LED fix­tures that were both fully down­shielded and pro­duced a softer white light (3000K or less).

These pole lights are leased by a coop mem­ber for a monthly fee to cover the amor­tized costs of the light it­self, the power con­sump­tion and rou­tine main­te­nance. The in­tent was to com­ple­ment RLEP’s own pro­gram of pro­vid­ing free re­place­ment of pri­vate­ly­owned un­shielded non-LED out­door light­ing.

REC rec­og­nized the eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits of mak­ing the light­ing re­place­ment: 50-80 per­cent less elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion, im­proved light­ing per­for­mance (by di­rect­ing all light to­ward the tar­geted ar­eas) and re­duced long-term main­te­nance re­quire­ments.

At RLEP’s re­quest, REC gen­er­ously agreed to of­fer light re­place­ment free of charge to all leasers of out­door pole light­ing in Rap­pa­han­nock County who call in and make the re­quest. This is a win-win propo­si­tion for both REC and the coop mem­bers.

REC has also been a sup­port­ive part­ner with RLEP for re­plac­ing pri­vate­ly­owned out­door pole light­ing. REC pro­vided RLEP with light­ing prod­uct in­for­ma­tion and sales ref­er­ences to al­low RLEP to pur­chase the same high-qual­ity low-main­te­nance light­ing fix­tures at rea­son­able prices. To date, RLEP has re­placed over 100 lights around the county.

A for­eign ex­change stu­dent at the high school re­cently men­tioned that what he liked best about Rap­pa­han­nock County were the dark skies. We are pleased that REC has con­trib­uted by step­ping up to the plate here in Rap­pa­han­nock County with their of­fer to re­place leased un­shielded light­ing.

REC has been ac­tively en­cour­ag­ing their coop mem­bers to take ad­van­tage of this free of­fer. Let­ters were sent to all leasers in Rap­pa­han­nock County dur­ing July and Au­gust. The of­fer is still open to REC mem­bers by call­ing its hot­line at 540-727-2168 and mak­ing a re­quest for the free light re­place­ment with a dark sky com­pli­ant fix­ture.

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