For museums considering energy-saving projects, the importance of energy efficiency isn't limited to the environment. Arranging the funding needed to upgrade physical assets such as lighting systems used to be difficult. Luckily, a lighting revolution is emerging and financial assistance is often available for institutions undertaking such conservation projects.
Consider these resources:
Local UtilityAssistance offered by local utility companies can range from offsetting a percentage of the total project budget to offering rebates calculated based on the amont of kWh reduced by completing the project. For example, Tacoma Art Museum paid for nearly 35% of their upgrade costs with a rebate from local utility provider, Tacoma Power.
0% CapitalFor qualifying areas, local utilities may be able to offset 100% of the project capital in the form of a rebate, and finance the balance of the installation costs as a no-interest loan to be repaid along with the monthly utility bill. This means no out-of-pocket spending and positive cash flow immediately following installation.
Federal GovernmentTax incentives for energy-reducing projects from the Federal government are most often based on square footage and can return up to 60¢ per square foot for lighting projects that feature control devices such as occupancy and daylight sensors. However, rebates and tax incentives require qualification.
The two most important aesthetic goals of any museum lighting plan are to properly illuminate the beautiful objects and artwork while also limiting the impact of UV exposure on pieces susceptible to damage. When you consider that museum patrons frequently complain of dim conditions, this creates a clear dilemma.
A popular guide for curators, the Guide to Environmental Protection of Collections by Barbara Appelbaum, recommends an exposure standard of 75 microwatts per lumen. However, some museums find it difficult to achieve appropriate 5-15 fc illumination levels for display and adhere to this standard. Plus, museums that demonstrate proactive measures to medigate the effects of UV light to receive covetted AAM-accreditation.
When used in conjunction with the right fixture, ceramic metal halide lamps are highly efficient and deliver excellent color rendering-opening up new possibilities for HID lighting in museum applications. The ConstantColor® CMH® lamps and ballasts from GE Lighting allow museums to properly display and preserve works by increasing footcandle levels and minimizing harmful UV.
Do not worry about funding –
Let us help you.
Contact your local GE Lighting representative or Janmar Lighting distributor to learn more about funding options in your area.
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Deputy Director, Tacoma Art Museum
* Facilities that operate at a common rate of $.10/kWh
can save $33,235.