Slayton Lighting Retrofits
It all began in 2009 when the City of Slayton City Council instructed City Administrator Cathy Magnus to pursue programs to help make the City more energy efficient. Cathy contacted local Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) coordinator Annette Bair, who connected Cathy with Jamie Fitzke, a lighting consultant with CEE and the One-Stop Efficiency Shop lighting program.
With Jamie's assistance, Slayton began retrofitting inefficient lighting in their city buildings including their Fire Department, Police Department, City Hall, Library and the Senior Center. Cathy was so impressed by both the quality of light and the energy savings that the City of Slayton partnered with CEE to promote Xcel Energy's One-Stop Efficiency Shop program to their Main Street businesses, including offering grants to businesses to help them complete their retrofits.
"We were extremely pleased with the results of the program not only for the energy savings, but with the great improvement of the quality of lighting in our buildings," remarked Cathy. "When our Economic Development Authority found that they had grant monies available for local businesses they put out applications for businesses to apply for money. Several of the businesses indicated that lighting was an issue with many of the older buildings they occupied. It just seemed logical to team up with the Center for Energy and Environment and the Xcel Energy rebate program and provide improvement to those buildings that will save money over the course of the next few years. The improvement made to these businesses has been great. It is the desire of the EDA to continue to work with the local businesses for more energy efficient ideas in the future."
In total, twelve businesses on or within two blocks of Main Street are in the process of retrofitting and replacing inefficient lighting - and a local film production company is documenting the process. Slayton businesses participating in this program have high expectations: changes in the quality of light color and coverage help create better working conditions and much improved product displays.
Local contractors are also benefiting from this work as they have been hired by Slayton businesses to complete the installations.
"The opportunity to work with CEE and help local businesses dramatically improve their stores by simply upgrading their lighting has been great," said local contractor Doug Brinks. "The partnership has provided an economic boost for Slayton Electric and our community this summer as well as lots of goodwill among fellow business owners whose customers quickly see the difference in lighting. It's always nice to have satisfied customers."
Cary Strandjord Productions will be documenting the lighting upgrades with "before" and "after" videos of Slayton businesses, including transitions, results, and proprietor insights and comments. They will also examine the rebates available to help business owners reduce the cost of lighting retrofits - and add up the money they saved through more efficient lighting.