South Whittier School District has begun the installation phase of a comprehensive lighting project with an energy management service company called Trane to help the district implement energy cost savings solutions using Proposition 39 grant funds.
Proposition 39 is an energy efficiency grant provided by the California Energy Commission, (CEC), for California facility improvements. All projects that are done must meet multiple CEC restrictions in order to be approved. One of these restrictions is that projects must pay for themselves through the savings generated by the reduction in energy cost.
The district began working with Trane by having them audit all eight district sites to identify all potential energy savings measures that could be taken. As a part of the audit they were to develop cost and energy saving numbers for the district to review. After the audit the district reviewed multiple options to leverage Prop 39 funds to improve district facilities. The district decided to go forward with a comprehensive lighting project on all eight sites.
The district worked with Trane to identify both interior and exterior solutions at all sites. This plan includes replacing all interior lighting to energy efficiency LED lights with code compliant lighting controls for each room type. On exterior lighting there will be upgrades to LED lights with specific locations identified to include motion sensors and advance controls.
These long life LED lights will create annual savings through energy use reduction and maintenance savings since they are supported under warranty. LED lights last on average 40 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. LED lights are also environmentally safe and emit zero IR or UV emissions. Changing out all lighting will also provide districtwide consistency.
The energy savings with these changes are projected to be substantial for the district. There is an estimate of 521, 230 kWh of electricity that will be reduced annually, 180 kWh of electrical demand removed from the California grid, and a 369 metric tons of CO2 offset, which is equivalent to 41, 475 gallons of gas. This also results in 68% reduction in electricity used by lighting in the district and based on previous year data, an estimated $95,838 annual electrical cost savings.
The comprehensive lighting efficiency project serves a positive financial impact to the district’s general fund while also serving a positive tangible impact to South Whittier School District students and community. The students of the district will notice better lighting levels in the classroom that result in improved learning environments. This new lighting increases safety by improving exterior lighting across all schools, and by having bulbs that do not emit high heat. Meaning if a person were to accidentally touches a lamp they are not at risk for a burn.
“This project has been in motion for quite some time,” South Whittier School District’s Associate Superintendent of Business Services, Mark Keriakous, shared.
“I am excited to get these energy-saving measures implemented so we can start reaping the benefits of enhanced lighting in our classrooms, less required routine maintenance due to the longevity of the new bulbs and ongoing energy savings.”