The matching grant of $22,800 will be applied in conjunction with a State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) grant for $57,000.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Williams said the federal grant through SECO was "a nightmare" to obtain. The county has a consulting firm, Clear Result, which was hired through Oncor to help with the grant criteria.
Clear Result went through the entire structure and created a spreadsheet for each of the 412 fixtures in the facility. Williams said they are ensuring that all of the steps for the grant are followed.
"If we don't get everything done the way it's required, they can take the money back," he said of the SECO grant.
He added that the grant also expires in June, so the retrofitting must be completed by then.
Williams said the grant was a complicated endeavor, with commissioners reading federal regulations and getting help from County Auditor Trisha Cockrell.
"We're making sure we have every 'T' crossed," Williams said. He said the county went out for bids on the project and received none. The county finally found a local firm to do the work.
The lighting replacement already has started, but a crew from Kiker Electric had to postpone work recently until the correct bulbs arrive.
Williams said the county has been getting colored lights -- which do not work well in the large areas of the courthouse -- and are awaiting the white light bulbs to be shipped.
The bulbs are equivalent to 30-watt incandescent lights, but use far less energy. The county also plans to go with two-bulb fixtures rather than four-bulb fixtures in areas where that light would be sufficient.
The new ballasts for the bulbs are electronic, whereas the older ballasts were magnetic and difficult to dispose.
"We should see a greener future for our county," Williams said.