The Center has been awarded an Illinois Clean Energy grant of $56,400 to upgrade and modernize the Center’s lighting system on all four floors. The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, a subsidiary of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), invests in clean energy development and land preservation efforts to improve environmental quality in Illinois. The grant will enable the Center to upgrade 1,295 fixtures with energy-efficient lamps and install motion-activated on/off switching in the storage areas. According to a lighting audit conducted in April 2004, the new lamps and switching systems will result in an energy demand reduction of 70 kilowatts and a 70 percent decrease in ultraviolet radiation in the stacks, thus saving approximately $13,000 annually and extending the longevity of the collections. The lighting upgrade is scheduled for July-September, 2005.
The Center has also applied to the National Endowment for the Humanities for funding for a multi-year Collection Stabilization Initiative that includes upgrades to the lighting and HVAC systems and additional shelving for the hard-copy newspaper collection. The lighting grant award can be applied as part of the Center’s cash match for the NEH grant, if the application is successful.
Upgrading Your Library’s Lighting
Illinois libraries should consider applying for an Illinois Clean Energy grant to upgrade lighting in storage areas, for both the savings and preservation benefits. Other states and other utility companies have grantmaking programs that support lighting upgrades for nonprofit institutions. An upgrade can result in significant annual savings --energy and dollars-- while greatly decreasing exposure of the collections to ultraviolet radiation.