When New Orleanians think of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, football games, concerts and Mardi Gras celebrations come to mind. But now, they can add energy efficiency to that list. That’s because New Orleans’ Energy Smart program recently awarded Superdome officials with a $50,000 cash incentive for lighting upgrades in the venue.
Through participation in the Energy Smart Large Commercial & Industrial Solutions program, Superdome officials are expected to save nearly $450,000 and just under 4.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. That’s equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 663 passenger vehicles driven for one year or the carbon dioxide emissions from 332 homes’ energy use for one year, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculations.
“We’re glad that one of New Orleans’ largest and most iconic facilities is realizing such massive energy savings through participating in the Energy Smart program,” said Derek Mills, manager of Entergy New Orleans’ demand-side management programs. “And we hope it will be an example to other commercial customers – both large and small – as well as our residential customers, on just how valuable the Energy Smart program can be.”
The $50,000 cash incentive put the payback period on the Superdome’s upgrades at only 6.5 years by greatly offsetting their cost, and thereby allows facility officials to realize a 15.23 percent return on their investment.
“While we always are looking at opportunities to enhance the fan experience, we also are searching for ways to better control operating costs,” said Alan Freeman, SMG general manager of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “We were able to accomplish both with the Superdome’s dynamic new LED lights, made possible through the Energy Smart program. These improvements are another important step toward ensuring the long-term viability of the iconic Mercedes-Benz Superdome.”
In addition to lighting upgrades, the Large Commercial & Industrial Solutions program also provides incentives for efforts such as:
- High-efficiency unitary air conditioning and heat pump (split systems and rooftop package units).
- Electric chillers.
- Premium efficiency motors.
- Window film.
- Any other measure that results in a measurable electric-usage reduction.
The incentives are based on $0.10 per kWh for qualifying lighting upgrades and $0.12 per kWh saved for all other upgrades. Total incentives per facility per program year cannot exceed $50,000 or the cost of the upgrade, whichever is less. Funding is limited, and incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Energy Smart is an energy-efficiency program developed by the New Orleans City Council and administered by Entergy New Orleans that provides energy-efficiency solutions to residential and commercial customers, as well as to government organizations. To learn more about incentives and rebates offered, visit www.energysmartnola.com.