Apr 17, 2023

Case Study: Minnesota Valley Transit Authority Lighting Improvements


Project Background

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MTVA), a public transportation agency serving communities in the southern Twin Cities metro area, knew they could benefit from LED lighting upgrades at their bus garage in Eagan, Minnesota, after an assessment from CEE’s One-Stop Efficiency Shop found high potential savings and rebates.  The garage’s usage and size made it a great candidate for LED upgrades, but the staff were unsure about how to make a large and time-consuming project fit within their budget. After some time, a One-Stop lighting consultant reconnected with MVTA, reassessed their current needs and roadblocks, and found solutions to ease budget concerns so they could move forward the project.

Facility Assessment

CEE’s lighting consultant performed an on-site assessment of the facility to determine the best equipment for the space. MVTA staff needed easier to maintain lights with more consistent coverage throughout the garage. The lighting consultant created a customized report with recommendations, estimated payback periods, and energy savings, and put together three different labor-only bids as MVTA planned to buy the material themselves. The lighting consultant suggested bringing in a turn-key contractor to act as the alternative rebate recipient to keep the out-of-pocket cost below MVTA’s maximum budget threshold.


CEE’s lighting consultant specified high bay fixtures with occupancy and daylight controls to maximize savings by automatically dimming lighting in unoccupied spaces. The new lights are brighter and more uniform, resulting in improved working conditions for garage and maintenance bay employees.   With help from their lighting consultant, MVTA was able to complete a complex project that would have been too time-consuming and costly to tackle on their own. The lighting upgrades recommended by CEE resulted in $85,644 in rebates and $55,948 in annual energy savings for the MVTA bus garage.

Learn more about the One-Stop Efficiency Shop

Tony (CEE lighting consultant) was knowledgeable and easy to work with, helped me stay on track for rebate submittal, and took much of the burden of contacting contractors and receiving/processing estimates. He didn’t pressure me to make a decision but did a good job laying out the justification for moving forward.

Anthony Taylor, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Manager

Project Impact


  • Costly and time-consuming maintenance
  • Inconsistent coverage in garage and mechanic bays
  • High energy costs


  • Reduced maintenance needs and costs
  • Significantly lower annual energy costs
  • Improved lighting quality and employee safety

Rebates & Savings

  • $55,948 in annual savings
  • 671,425 kWh saved 
  • $85,644 rebate
  • 1.9-year payback period