City launches third annual light exchange program

The City of Lacombe is once again helping residents be more efficient in the holiday season.

  • Oct. 16, 2014 8:00 p.m.

The City of Lacombe is once again helping residents be more efficient in the holiday season.

This week, the City began its third annual Christmas Light exchange, a program designed to reduce Lacombe’s energy footprint and help Lacombe residents save both power and money.

Guy Lapointe, community and economic development manager for the City of Lacombe, said there was a quite a crowd gathered at City Hall when the exchange program began Tuesday morning.

“There was already a line-up,” said Lapointe. He added that each year the City has expanded and offered more lights for exchange, but they are still out of lights within a few short weeks of the program’s start.

To participate in the lights exchange program, bring in two strings of old, incandescent bulbs and receive one set of brand new energy-efficient LED lights. Participants can exchange for as many sets of LED lights as they have adults in their home, but must trade twice as many sets of incandescent bulbs.

Only incandescent bulbs are accepted as part of the exchange, said Lapointe.

He added the program is only open to residents of Lacombe.

Lapointe said typically, the program is meant for the larger outdoor lights rather than the smaller indoor ones but both kinds of bulbs are accepted.

Conservation is an issue in the public mind currently, and switching from incandescent bulbs is one way to cut down on the power residents consume during the holiday season.

At a time of year where excess use of power because of Christmas lights, Christmas baking and other season activities tends to make power bills climb, it also helps residents save money.

An average home running six strings of incandescent holiday lights for six hours a day consumes about 78 kilowatts per hour of energy during the holiday season. An equivalent number of LED lights would only consume five kilowatts per hour of energy for the entire month.

In the first year of the program, the City had exchanged $1,250 worth of lights in three weeks. Last year, the second year of the program, $2,000 worth of lights were exchanged.

As sustainability is the point of the program, the incandescent lights are then recycled. Lapointe said the bulbs are removed and used in art and craft projects like Art in the Park and the wires are used as scrap metal. Last year, the City recycled over 250 strands of incandescent lights.

The City decided to offer this program three years ago after seeing successful programs operate in other communities.

For more information about the program, contact Guy Lapointe at 403-782-1263.

There is a limited supply of lights and the exchange program will only last as long as there are lights to exchange.

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