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Save Energy, Lower Costs, and Brighter Lighting

Opportunity Development Centers, Inc. (ODC) is a private, not-for-profit agency working to connect people and communities in 21 counties throughout central Wisconsin. Their mission is to “empower people with disabilities to achieve their work and life goals.”

Recently, ODC turned to its electric utility, Wisconsin Rapids Water Works & Lighting Commission (WW&LC) and Focus on Energy to make a long-term investment in their Wisconsin Rapids facility to save energy, lower costs, and provide a better, brighter, and more consistently lit environment.

ODC Front Building sign
Start with an Energy Assessment
Best Course of Action

“We had old fluorescent bulbs with a lot of different color spectrums throughout the facility,” ODC Maintenance Manager Chad Chialda recently told Focus on Energy. “After a referral from Wisconsin Rapids Water Works & Lighting Commission, we met with Ryan from Focus on Energy.”

Putting in new Lights ODC

Energy Advisor Ryan Negro performed several site-visits to complete an energy assessment and determine the best course of action for ODC’s lighting project. Specific energy savings were key for ODC, but more importantly, staff wanted the facility to have brighter work areas.

“And that’s what we got,” Chialda said. “Plus, happier moods, less grogginess in the winter, and less lighting maintenance.”

The Future is Bright

Focus on Energy provided incentives for the lighting project which replaced 1,098 fluorescents with LEDs and 10 high-intensity discharge lights in the parking lot with LEDs. ODC is now saving 66,372 kilowatt hours per year, saving enough energy to power six homes in Wisconsin Rapids every year!

Parking Lot Lights - ODC

“Ryan handled all the necessary paperwork and filing for the incentive program,” Chialda said. “He brought in two Focus on Energy Trade Allies to complete the project, and Ryan gave me ideas for future energy savings projects.”

Those future energy projects include converting the warehouse high bay T5 high output lamps to LED equivalent providing a tremendously well-lit and safe work environment and converting all exterior high pressure sodium fixtures and bulbs to LED equivalent.

Collaboration Needed

Partnering with someone who has the same goals and specializes in what you’re trying to accomplish takes a lot of the stress off of the project and project manager,” Chialda emphasized. “Starting anything new that you’ve never done before is nerve racking and challenging.”

New Light Installation ODC

“A special thank you to Focus on Energy Program and Energy Advisor Ryan Negro for partnering with Water Works & Lighting Commission and performing on-site energy assessments,” Shawn Reimer, Conservation Manager for WW&LC said. “None of this was possible without Julie (Strenn, ODC President/CEO) and Chad’s willingness to meet with us to see what we had to offer. ODC has created a better work environment while saving money through rate change options and lighting upgrades that will benefit their organization for years to come.”

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