Big Sky Senior Living

A lighting-upgrade project is saving a senior living center in Butte significant lighting energy costs, while providing higher-quality lighting for its residents, staff, and visitors.

The Big Sky Senior Living complex consists of one main building and 12 cottages. The main building contains common areas, apartments, offices, kitchens, dining rooms, maintenance areas, parking garages, a memory care unit, a hairdressing shop, and a physical therapy center.

The Montana Resource Efficiency Program (MREP) performed a detailed energy audit for Big Sky Senior Living, selected the LED lighting, facilitated both the purchase of the lighting and the utility rebate process. Lighting at the complex ranged from metal halide bulbs in parking garage and exterior fixtures, to incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent lights in the interior fixtures. The new LED lighting is more energy-efficient and will provide a better quality of light, with a longer service life.

  • LED Cost: $28,312
  • Recycling Cost: $3,627
  • Utility Incentives: $20,720
  • Net Cost: $11,219
  • Annual Bill Savings: $30,000
  • Annual Energy Savings: 232,000 kWh
  • Simple Payback with Energy Savings: Less than 6 months

Prior to the lighting conversion, Big Sky Senior Living used 731,612 kWh annually at a cost of $73,808, and 13,118 therms of natural gas annually at a cost of $9,038. As a day of service, a group of 15 Energy Corps volunteers and MREP engineers performed the complex-wide light bulb change-out and assisted in packing the 4,300 bulbs for recycling.

Future energy-efficiency potential at the complex includes boiler and hot water pipe insulation; installing variable frequency drives (VFD) on fan motors of air-handling units, rooftop units, energy-recovery units, make-up air units, condensers, unit heaters, and AC units; installing variable frequency drives (VFD) on the pumps in the hydronic heating systems; installing energy-efficient air-conditioning units; and installing an energy-efficient air-condensing unit for the walk-in cooler and freezer.

 LED Conversion per Fixture Type

Current Fixture Number of Bulbs Current Wattage Replacement Fixture Replacement Wattage Watts Saved
Parking Garage Lights 26 458 150-Watt LED 150 308
Parking Lot, Exterior, and Street Lighting 47 128 64-Watt LED 64 36
Fluorescent Tubes 1914 32 15-Watt LED 15 15
Incandescent 1703 60 9-Watt LED 9 51
Heat Lamps 300 100 9-Watt LED 9 91
Wall Packs 13 70 LED Wall Pack 12 58
Candelabra Bulb 29 28 5-Watt LED Candelabra 5 23
Vanity Bulbs 88 25 2.5-Watt LED 2.5 22
Halogen BR30 75 75 8-Watt LED 8 67
Halogen BR40 75 120 17-Watt LED 17 103