OGDEN — Northern Utah residents flocked to the community lightbulb exchange that started in September, cleaning out the LED bulbs on offer a month earlier than expected.
The exchange, called Empower Northern Utah, was organized by Weber State’s sustainability programs and other community partners.
“The initial response to the exchange was phenomenal,” said Chase Wilson, community program coordinator for WSU’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC), in a university press release. “To witness the community turnout out in such numbers for an energy-efficiency program was inspiring. The program was an absolute success.”
Participants in the exchange were able to trade in up to 15 used incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs for 15 new LED bulbs at no cost.
Altogether 390 households participated in the exchange, swapping out a total of 5,482 old bulbs for new, energy-efficient LEDs.
“It is remarkable that by simply changing bulbs, participating residents will collectively save approximately $35,000 in lighting bills each year, while supporting a healthier environment,” said Alice Mulder, director of SPARC.
Of the 390 participating households, more than 150 were low income, according to the release.
Low-income households still have an option to swap out their bulbs. They may qualify to receive energy-efficient bulbs through the Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) program, which still has several hundred bulbs, the university release says.
Weber State and community partners planned to hold the lightbulb exchange two hours a week, twice a week, from Sept. 11 through Nov. 16 — about 9½ weeks. People could exchange bulbs at the Weber County Library’s main branch and the Weber State Community Education Center.
The exchange closed after 5½ weeks of operation, giving out the last LED bulb on Oct. 19.
In response to the demand, SPARC purchased 2,000 additional bulbs, the release said, but it wasn’t enough to continue the exchange to its planned end date.
Partners in the exchange included Weber State’s SPARC, Energy and Sustainability Office and Center for Community Engaged Learning as well as Ogden City, HEAT, Rocky Mountain Power, Weber County Library and Utah Clean Energy.