SHREVEPORT, La., January 2, 2019 – Through Southwestern Electric Power Company’s (SWEPCO) commercial energy efficiency program, the historic Strand Theatre recently received $13,000 in incentives to switch to LED bulbs. The change will bring an estimated 20 percent savings to the theatre’s electric bills, based upon past usage and new savings as a result of the lighting upgrade.
“This project is meaningful to SWEPCO not only because it helps a valuable customer lower their bill; but, also because we are helping a historical building upgrade to a modern, energy efficient technology,” said Jeff Thigpen, SWEPCO energy efficiency and consumer program coordinator. “Our energy efficiency programs are designed to help both residential and commercial customers lower their energy bills.”
Cumulatively, the Strand Theatre project replaced nearly 2,000 bulbs within the facility’s offices, auditorium, dressing rooms, lobby, foyer, storage rooms, box office and more. Just over 500 bulbs were replaced on the iconic marquee and another 99 on the 14-foot grand chandelier, which hangs above the theatre’s 2,500 seats.
Both the marquee and chandelier pose difficult challenges when changing bulbs: the marquee requires a lift for access, and the chandelier must be cranked down from the ceiling – by hand – from a small crawl space. Because the new LED bulbs have a longer life than traditional bulbs, Strand Theatre staff will reduce the amount of labor and time required to change bulbs within the facility.
“To change the lights in the proscenium and the oval, you have to crawl underneath the walkways and reach your arm through a 4-by-6 hole. So, it is a challenge to replace these light bulbs,” said David ‘Boudreaux’ Fusilier, the Strand’s Jack-Of-All-Trades, responsible for building maintenance. “Also, some of these light fixtures are very delicate. There’s not anybody to fix them, and you can’t call someone to replace them because they’re irreplaceable. With the LED bulbs, I should not have to change a bulb for another five to ten years, hopefully! That’s good, because I’m getting a little old to crawl around and reach into some of these places.”
“Anything we can do to reduce cost and maintenance is valuable since our building dates back to 1925,” said Jenifer Hill, executive director for the Strand Theatre. “The energy efficiency program from SWEPCO is incredibly helpful for non-profits like ours.”
SWEPCO customers interested in earning incentives for lighting, heating/cooling system upgrades, weatherization and more can find more details or get a free energy audit at SWEPCO.com/Save.
About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)
SWEPCO, an American Electric Power company (AEP: NYSE), serves 532,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com.
About American Electric Power (AEP)
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 33,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,200 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.
SWEPCO Corporate Communications Karen E. Wissing