WASHINGTON, DC — Ben’s Chili Bowl has been a DC icon for decades. With the help of the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU), its iconic status just got brighter, and it’s not costing them a penny.
The owners of Ben’s Chili Bowl are among the first DC small-business owners to participate in the DC SEU’s new Fluorescent Lighting Upgrade Program, which helps local businesses save energy and money.
“The program is a total win-win. It helps the environment, it helps our business and it helps our bottom line,” said co-owner and son of Ben, Nizam Ali. “We are so thankful that the DC SEU has been here to help us make the switch to a more efficient lighting system.”
Like many local businesses, Ben’s Chili Bowl has been using outdated, inefficient fluorescent light bulbs called T12s. The manufacture of T12 fluorescent lighting was banned by federal mandate on July 14, 2012. To help local businesses through this transition, the DC SEU is replacing inefficient T12 fluorescent tube lighting with more efficient High-Performance T8 (HPT8) lighting in qualifying businesses, institutions and multifamily residential buildings in DC at no cost.
Upgrading from old, inefficient T12 lighting to more energy-efficient HPT8 bulbs will provide a number of benefits to Ben’s Chili Bowl. The restaurant’s new lighting will reduce energy use by up to 50 percent over the old lighting; the bulbs will last 4,000 to 10,000 hours longer, translating to reduced maintenance costs; and the quality of light will improve. The projected annual cost savings is $1,200.
“The DC SEU is excited to help local businesses like Ben’s Chili Bowl make the switch to high performance lighting, which not only lasts longer and provides improved light quality, but also uses less electricity, reducing the District’s carbon footprint,” says DC SEU Managing Director Ted Trabue. “It’s an investment that makes DC businesses more sustainable, supports local economic development by employing local contractors and is good for the environment. It’s a winning combination for DC businesses and the community as a whole.”
For more information on the DC SEU’s Fluorescent Lighting Upgrade Program, Implementation Contractors, and eligible equipment, please contact the DC SEU at info@DCSEU.com or 202-479-2222, and for more general information on the DC SEU, visit www.DCSEU.com.
Created by the City Council as part of the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (CAEA), the DC SEU is managed by the Sustainable Energy Partnership under contract to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).