Blog : Rockingham Electric and The Lighting Center Help Customers See the Light

By Magill | May 20, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Correspondent

NEWINGTON – When it comes to energy efficiency and savings to the bottom line, LED and CFL lighting options are transforming homes and businesses. 

Gino Milne, the branch manager for Rockingham Electric Supply in Newington, has more than three decades of experience in the lighting industry and he says that with each passing day residential and commercial customers are becoming better informed about making electric lighting more cost efficient today and tomorrow.

“I think there has always been a consciousness in the commercial sector about saving money on their electric bills because businesses are so acutely aware of their bottom-line,” Milne said. “But we’ve come a long way as far as residential awareness because customers now know and care about saving as much as possible on their home energy consumption.”

Founded in 1951, the family-owned company has grown to nine locations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine (with a 10th to open soon in Lewiston, Maine) and it has been on the forefront of educating the general public and businesses about energy efficiency solutions. 

With the mandated shift away from incandescent light bulbs and as more evidence about cost and efficiency savings accumulates – and as the prices for CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes) stabilize – the pace of consumer and commercial demand has accelerated dramatically.

On its web site blog, Rockingham Electric has updated information to include research on just how cost and energy efficient CFLs and LEDs have become. For example, compared to old incandescent bulbs, CFLs are 75 percent more efficient and LEDs are 83 more percent energy efficient (incandescent bulb waste about 90 percent of energy they create on heat.) The annual cost to operate a CFL is $1.64 and for an LED it is $1.12 compared to the $6.57 for the incandescent bulb. The CFL last on average 14 years and 10,000 hours and the LED lasts 25,000 hours and 34 years compared to the incandescent bulb lasting 1.4 years and 1,000 hours.

Milne said a growing roster of commercial clients have seen the light. “We have a lot of success stories,” he said.  

In addition to the parking lot lighting makeover at Liberty Mutual on Borthwick Avenue in Portsmouth, Milne said a large auto dealer in Manchester had 20 old lighting fixtures and switched to five LED fixtures. The result was dramatic. “Here’s an example of LED savings. They now have better light and cut their energy consumption by more than half,” Milne said.

Milne also cited a hotel in Bar Harbor, Maine that replaced all its incandescent bulbs with LEDs in guest rooms, common areas and the pool and saved a first year’s savings of more than 70 percent.  

Rockingham Electric is a business partner of the Green Alliance, a union of local sustainable businesses promoting environmentally sound business practices and a green co-op offering discounted green products and services to its consumer members.

Eric Morin, the lighting showroom manager at Rockingham Electric’s flagship Newington branch, said consumers are also realizing that technological advances such as dimmers and sensors can have a major impact on lowering the amount of household energy use. 

For example, installing occupancy (or motion) sensors in the house ensures that lights automatically turn on and off when needed. And installing a dimmer can make a subtle but significant difference by saving between 4 percent and 9 percent in electricity even when the lights are on their brightest.

Morin, a Rockingham Electric employee for more than a decade, believes the level of consumer knowledge about energy efficiency and technological choices to save energy and money “is like night and day” compared to when he first started. The pace of technological change is also leading to the next generation of LED and CFL systems which have reduced bright harshness and are even more energy efficient. 

“We’ve found that consumers want to have not just information but the right kind of information. They are factoring in how much innovation and technology they want to integrate into their homes,” Morin said. 

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For more information about Rockingham Electric, visit www.rockinghamelectric.com or www.RockinghamLightingCenter.com 

And for more information about the Green Alliance, go to www.greenalliance.biz.