How JBLM turned 100,000 LEDs into over $2M in incentive payments

Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) is Pierce County’s largest employer; the massive installation is home to several branches of the military. As anyone driving by the imposing fence around the area can attest, JBLM has looks more like a small city than a “business.” As an important economic driver, the largest employer in the region, and one of Tacoma Power’s largest customers, JBLM has been a partner in Tacoma Power’s energy conservation efforts for decades. This partnership yielded many energy efficiency improvements, such as lighting and HVAC improvements and compressed air system upgrades.

Over the past five years, though, JBLM has been concentrating its efforts on lighting retrofits. With some initial support from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for contracting and financing arrangements and ongoing technical expertise and incentive funding from Tacoma Power, JBLM has been able to install over 100,000 new LEDs since 2017, including 4,000 new parking lots and streetlights. The electric energy saved through these efforts exceeds 15.8 million kilowatt-hours, equivalent to the yearly energy used by nearly 1,350 homes.

The benefits of these lighting retrofits extend beyond energy conservation. LED fixtures have longer lifespans, which equal substantial maintenance savings in labor and materials. Fluorescent bulbs contain hazardous materials— replacing them with LEDs reduces their use on Base.  The lighting retrofits also enhanced safety and security at JBLM; these benefits come with cost savings.

The benefits of these LEDs also included incentive funding from Tacoma Power —to the tune of $2,126,428 for the five years-worth of lighting retrofits and other energy-saving improvements. We are proud of our partnership with JBLM. We are already working on the next phase of projects on Base, using even more innovative lighting solutions for impressive energy savings. 

If your business is looking for ways to save energy and improve your bottom line, Tacoma Power’s Customer Energy Programs team, who advised JBLM on their projects, can help you, too. Visit to learn more about energy programs and services we offer our business customers or call 253-502-8619 to get started today. 

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