Mountain Village relaunches its LED instant rebate program after much success in 2014

Words by Nichole Zangara / Environment

It’s lights out on the traditional light bulb for the Rocky Mountain town of Mountain Village. Mountain Village announced today that it is offering its residents and business owners yet another opportunity to save money and energy by switching from inefficient light bulbs to new light-emitting diode technology (LEDs). In partnership with San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) and Cooperative Business Lighting Partners, the program Relight Mountain Village provides instant rebates and exclusive offers to those who purchase LEDs at The online order period begins March 1 and will run until midnight April 5. Program participants can expect to save up to 75 percent for each LED bulb they purchase.

“Based on the excellent response from the community in 2014 we are launching the program again in 2015 with even more opportunity for the large commercial sector,” stated Environmental Services Director Deanna Drew. “More importantly, this effort is engaging the community while making more people conscious about their energy use. As a bonus, the success of this program has encouraged other communities to follow suit and create their own LED incentive program, including Telluride and San Miguel County.”

In an effort to reduce waste, bulbs will be delivered in bulk and available for pickup at Town Hall Plaza. Customers will be contacted via email regarding the specific date and time for this pickup event.

As for program rules, participants are limited to 50 common LEDs 300 lumens or greater. This limitation ensures that everyone has the opportunity to change the environmental landscape and their monthly electricity bill for the better. Other types of bulbs such as tube lighting and bulbs less than 300 lumens have different rebate guidelines and amounts, which will be automatically calculated during the online ordering process.

Once LED bulbs are installed Drew suggests placing any unwanted incandescent light bulbs in the trash, but warns that fluorescent tubes and compact florescent bulbs contain mercury, a hazardous material that must be properly recycled or disposed of according to San Miguel County guidelines. For more details, visit One can also sell or donate their old bulbs and fixtures that still work.

Bight Lights, Big Profits

In 2014, all told, 94 residents and 27 business owners purchased over 4,800 LED bulbs through the Relight Mountain Village program. This translated to a four-month average pay back period and total annual energy cost savings of $71,362. The most popular LEDs purchased were can lights, standard bulbs, and dimmable table lamps and track lighting. Moreover, of the town’s $20,000 Relight Mountain Village rebate fund, $18,214 was applied at time of bulb purchase in addition to about $35,000 from the San Miguel Power Association rebate program.

Changing Landscape

Over the past few years the cost of LEDs has been steadily dropping while making immense gains in energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for about 10 percent of a home’s electricity use. Since LEDs typically use 75- to 80-percent less energy than the traditional varieties, upgrading one’s lighting source is a step in the right direction, and most of the newer bulbs sold in the U.S. have longer life spans – more than 20 years – so a continual savings is realized well into the future. Moreover, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are three billion incandescent bulbs currently in use. In other words, American households could collectively save $6 billion on energy costs in 2015 alone by making the switch to more energy-efficient lighting.

“Results of switching to an energy-efficient light source like an LED are promising,” said SMPA Accounts Executive Ken Haynes. “For instance, if you were to replace 50 60-watt bulbs in your home that run an average of three hours each day, you have the opportunity to save about $30 each month on your electricity bill. It is because of this that we decided to expand our relationship with Mountain Village and collaborate with them. With our shared commitment to developing programs that work for our members, Relight Mountain Village truly is a win-win for those who participate.”

Mountain Village Mayor Dan Jansen couldn’t agree more.

“Earmarking funds for the energy reduction program Relight Mountain Village show not only the local government’s long-term commitment to being part of the solution, but also the commitment of our residents, business owners and electric power cooperative.”

Relight Mountain Village, a $20,000 funded program, is part of the town’s energy reduction strategy.