New York School Sees the Light with Energy-efficient Upgrade

Saves EnergyThe American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has enabled a school district in Central New York to upgrade their lighting and controls.

The Marcellus Central School District has long been committed to protecting the environment. The District is in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York, home to 26 state parks and the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

The District has taken the lead in projects to maintain and preserve the natural landscape. Installing energy-efficient lighting in school buildings will lessen environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions.

Lighting upgrade

The lighting project consists of replacing about 650 old, inefficient lights with the cutting-edge T-8 lighting, which is far more energy-efficient.

The Assistant Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, Keith Watkins, is delighted with the project.

“By upgrading the lights and controls, we will save taxpayer money, and the students will have a more pleasant environment in which to learn,” he said.

Saving energy and taxpayers’ money

The improvements will save 218,901 kWh every year, which means the district saves about $30,000 in energy costs every year. These significant savings will enable the school to afford other upgrades.

“The District is very happy and feels fortunate to receive ARRA money at a time when the school district is already working on energy projects,” said Watkins. “Performing these lighting upgrades shows tax payers and students how to set an example to become good stewards of energy savings.”

NYSERDA funding for the lighting upgrade

The Marcellus Central School District was able to make these improvements due to a $98,000 award by NYSERDA.

But this is not the District’s first partnership with NYSERDA. The Marcellus CSD participates in NYSERDA’s Energy Performance Benchmarking Program. This provides analysis of energy consumption at each building, which could be compared with data about energy use and cost with other local and also national schools.

This Benchmarking Program means the District can better plan their future energy needs.

Watkins has high hopes for an even brighter future. “Because the Benchmarking Reports confirmed our assumptions about the performance of each school, we were able to quickly identify where ARRA monies could be most effectively spent.”

Sources used in researching this article include NYSERDA: Seeing the Light in Central New York

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