FARMINGTON, Minn. (Nov. 19, 2008) — As Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville prepares for a busy ski season, it is also taking steps to ensure that its energy use is green. Buck Hill – which uses 100 percent wind energy from Dakota Electric Association’s Wellspring Renewable Wind Energy® program to power everything from chair lifts to light bulbs – is also decorating “green” by using energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lights.

New this year, Buck Hill will decorate for the holidays with nearly 1,000 feet of LED lights as it kicks off the winter ski season. Buck Hill will save approximately $339 in holiday lighting this winter based on the ski hill’s estimated use, compared to traditional incandescent holiday lights. In addition, the lights will last more than five years longer — even if they run continuously — than traditional bulbs!

While energy costs traditionally rise during the winter, and especially during the holiday season, LED bulbs are a simple solution for keeping energy costs down. LED lights are durable, cool running and have a much greater lifespan than incandescent bulbs — running for a lifetime of up to 100,000 hours. Because they generate less heat than typical bulbs, they are significantly more energy efficient: while a traditional bulb uses approximately 6 watts per bulb, an LED bulb uses just .08 watts.
The lower heat output and durability make them perfect for tree trimming, home decorating and outdoor lighting, and LED bulbs are now available in a variety of colors and sizes.

“LEDs are one of the best ways to maintain your holiday decor without seeing a huge spike in energy costs,” said Michael Hoy, Dakota Electric’s energy services manager. “Dakota Electric is offering $3 rebates per string. Forms can be found on our Web site.”

To learn more about how LED holiday lights can make your lighting display more energy efficient and safer this holiday season, visit www.MNBrighterIdeas.com. The site will eventually feature photos of this and other electric cooperative LED holiday lighting projects.