Erie County spending $250,000 on new lights at Rath Building

Aug 17, 2015

Erie County plans to change every light bulb in the Rath Building, a move that is expected to bring substantial savings. 

New lights should bring a new look to the Rath Building.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The bulbs alone will cost $250,000. They will bring a rebate of $135,000 and save $90,000 a year.

Energy Development Director Eric Walker says being able to just switch bulbs makes it workable.
"They actually fit into the existing fixtures, so there won't be any fixture replacement required. This Philips LED light bulb that we're going to be using fits into the existing fixtures. So, all we have to do,really, is simply pop them out, pop the old bulbs out and pop the new bulbs in," Walker told WBFO.

Legislator Ted Morton voted against the plan.

"For 12 years, I've lived in a house with a solar panel. For two years, I've driven a hybrid car. For about 25 years, I've used miniature fluorescent bulbs in my home," Morton said.

"I personally believe in energy efficiency and using as least amount as possible. I agree with my colleague, Legislator [Ed] Rath, that I firmly believe this is something that should have been in the 2016 budget."

The plan is being paid for with cash left over from the 2014 budget and the plan is that much of it will be done by 2016.

The Rath Building electric bill is about $850,000 a year, so the new lights are expected to make a dent in that bill and the new bulbs are supposed to last a lot longer before they need to be changed.

The old bulbs will have to be disposed of as hazardous waste. The work should be done within a year.