What's happening in Mora

Lighting bonus rebate sparks efficiency efforts

MORA T12When Stenstrom Jewelry learned that Mora Municipal Utilities was offering a bonus lighting rebate, they jumped at the opportunity to upgrade their building’s outdated, less efficient lighting.  By taking advantage of the utility’s standard lighting rebate coupled with the bonus, they were able to reclaim nearly a quarter of the total project cost for the T12 to T8 retrofit while saving money and energy with the new equipment.

“We have been thinking about upgrading our lighting for awhile,” Ms. Stenstrom-Holmes said. “When we heard that we could get a bonus rebate on top of the standard utility rebate, it made our decision a lot easier.  The new lights are fantastic.  There is less glare in the showroom and we have already noticed a difference in our electric bill." 

Public stewards working together 

Mora Jail

At the Kanabec County Commissioner Meeting on the evening of August 26, 2009, Mora Municipal Utilities presented a check to Kanabec County for incorporating energy efficient design practices at the new Kanabec County Jail.

“It was a pleasure working with the staff at Kanabec County,” said Keith Butcher, Energy Services Representative for the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency. “They thought about the energy impacts of their decisions early in the design process.  The new jail features various technologies designed to save the county money.  These strategies include: ENERGY STAR® equipment in the cafeteria, a highly efficient chiller, premium efficiency motors, variable speed drives, T5 lighting, occupancy sensors, and even day-lighting.  Their hard work and foresight will help keep their energy bills low and help Mora Municipal Utilities keep electric rates down.”

For the strategies implemented, Mora Municipal Utilities provided Kanabec County with a rebate of $19,401.10.  It is estimated that the county will save over 52 kW and nearly 350,000 kWh a year compared to a building with standard equipment.

The best news is that the rebate funds will be used to implement energy efficient strategies in other county buildings.  “Using this rebate, we have already begun the process to see what we can do to lower our energy costs and improve comfort in other county buildings,” reports Jerry Pedersen, Maintenance Assistant Supervisor for Kanabec County.  “This rebate will pay even more dividends in the years to come.  It is great to have such a beneficial partnership as the one we have with the City of Mora.”

Helping the school, helping the community

Mora, MN ---Mora High School  completed a retrofit of the high school gymnasium that reduced their energy costs thereby saving the school some much needed funds.

"We will be saving a significant amount of money with these new lights," said Gary Gauffin, Mora School District Director of Activities, Transportation, Buildings, and Grounds. "In addition to the higher efficiency of the new lights, they come on instantly.  We no longer have to wait for the lights to get bright.  This means they we were able to install occupancy sensors to ensure that the lights are off when not in use thereby saving us even more."

Mora High School replaced 400 watt metal halides lamps with an assortment of 4 and 6 lamp T5 fluorescent fixtures and occupancy sensors.  For upgrading their lighting, Mora Municipal Utilities provided the school district with a $3,262 rebate.  It is estimated that the high school will reduce their electrical load by 12 kW and save well over 72,000 kWh a year.  This results in a savings of over $4,000 per year.  In addition to the financial savings, this retrofit will also result in avoiding over 79 tons of CO2 emissions per year. 

"Mora Municipal Utilities is proud to have been able to help out the school district.   The gymnasium lights are used for all sorts of community events and lots of people will benefit from Gary being so proactive," says City Administrator Joel Dhein.

Better Lights -- Lower Bills 

olympak 1

OlymPak reduced their electricity bills at their Mora facility and improved their lighting at the same time.

"We are very pleased with the quality of the new lighting.  It is a clear improvement over our old fixtures," said Dean Weigel, OlymPak Warehouse Manager. "As an added benefit, we no longer have 60,000 sq ft of warehouse lit all day long. Two-thirds of the retrofit space consists of 10 aisles with racking on both sides.  By using motion sensors we only light the row that is active and the lights shut themselves off after 10 minutes of non-use.

OlymPak replaced an assortment of lighting fixtures including metal halides and T12 fluorescents with new high-efficiency T8 fluorescent fixtures.  OlymPak also installed 22 occupancy sensors.  For upgrading their lighting, Mora Municipal Utilities provided OlymPak with an $8,102 rebate.  It is estimated that OlymPak will reduce their electrical load by nearly 30 kW and save well over 218,000 kWh a year.

"Mora Municipal Utilities is committed to working with our customers to help them save money and use energy wisely," says City Administrator Joel Dhein.