Large lighting upgrade made possible for Minnesota Valley Transit Authority

Apr 6, 2023
Garage with busses and overhead LED lighting

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 with the project. 

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. 

Anthony Taylor, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Manager

Facility Assessment 

CEE’s lighting consultant performed an onsite 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 materials 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. 


  • 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 and Savings 

  • $55,948 in annual savings 

  • 671,425 kWh saved  

  • $85,644 rebate 

  • 1.9-year payback period 

Center for Energy and Environment’s (CEE) One-Stop Efficiency Shop®, sponsored by Xcel Energy, offers free lighting consulting and rebates to help businesses save energy and reduce operating costs through lighting upgrades. 

Learn more about the One-Stop Efficiency Shop