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Light Up the Night with Candlelight Dinners

Dec 07, 2016 -

Local Bend businesses with a history of sustainable practices are partnering with the Bend Energy Challenge team to bring fun candlelight dining nights to Bend’s holiday season. The goal is to connect people to efficient LED lighting and other energy-saving practices at a time when energy use spikes.

“Everyone uses more interior and exterior lighting during winter months.  This is the perfect time for the Bend Energy Challenge to bring more awareness to energy efficient lighting. The best part is that with our 16 Free LED program, we’re able to connect many people with energy savings at no cost to them,” states Neil Baunsgard, LED Coordinator for the Bend Energy Challenge.

Join the Bend Energy Challenge team for a candlelight dinner and get resources to cut winter energy bills at two upcoming events:

  • Deschutes Brewery Public House – Wednesday, December 14 from 5-10:00 pm
  • Jackson’s Corner – Westside – Thursday, December 15 from 5-9:00 pm

The restaurants will operate just as they would on any other night. All diners who eat at the candlelight dinners will be entered to win some great prizes including LED Christmas lights,  LED light bulbs, free energy assessments, and LED candles.

“While an LED light bulb, may seem like a small action, these bulbs pack a punch as far as energy savings go. If every home in Bend were to switch out 8 incandescent light bulbs to efficient LED bulbs, Bend would save $2,666,487 per year.”

The Bend Energy Challenge will also spotlight some other opportunities to save with LED lighting such as with LED holiday lights. Holiday decorating brightens our homes and yards, but causes a spike in energy usage each winter due to the inefficient wattage of holiday light strings.

LED holiday lights consume 80-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 100,000 hours, versus 3,000 hours for an incandescent. Combine this with the durable construction of LEDs, and savings extend beyond electricity. Repeat purchases in LED lights are reduced drastically, multiplying savings year after year – where the same LED string could still be in use 40 holiday seasons from now.

“Safety is also an important factor – the cooler design helps prevent house fires, and up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket,” Baunsgard noted.

Both participating restaurants are concerned about the future livability of Bend, and are committed to doing the right thing when it comes to the environment.

Deschutes Brewery’s commitment to the environment is why they joined the Bend Energy Challenge, a local movement which encourages individuals, households and businesses to reduce their energy use and switch to energy efficient LED lighting as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

Deschutes has replaced lighting throughout their production facility with LEDs using 69% less energy, equating to powering 8 homes for a year.  “As a member of our local and global communities, we take responsibility for our influence on the planet. We balance what we take with what we give back by tracking our economic, environmental, and social efforts. We hope our activities will inspire others to do the same.”

Jackson’s Corner focuses on local sustainable food systems that build up local farms, provide the ultimate in fresh, healthy ingredients, and reduce transportation costs of food. “We feel that conscious sourcing of food (local, humane, organic, etc.) is better for the health of our Central Oregon communities. We believe that it is possible to support your local farmers within a restaurant,” states Tory Junkin.

These candlelight dinners are a final push for the Bend Energy Challenge to spread information on easy ways to save energy as they wrap up their efforts in the Georgetown University Energy Prize—a two year energy saving competition that is coming to a close. The Bend Energy Challenge hopes to secure the $5 million prize that is on the line to bring more projects to Bend that will help residents save energy and money.