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Jefferson County Schools to install LED lighting at Jefferson High School and bus garage

By Staff | Apr 29, 2016

As part of Jefferson County Schools’ (JCS) efforts to cut operational costs, the school district will replace the lights at Jefferson High School (JHS) and the JCS bus garage with energy-efficient LED lights this summer.

According to Bondy Shay Gibson, superintendent of JCS, switching to LED lights will reduce the two facilities’ annual energy usage by 64 percent, saving the school district $457,779 in energy costs over the next ten years.

“This project continues our focus on optimizing our operational efficiency so that we can focus our resources on instruction,” Gibson said.

With the new lights set to be installed this summer, JCS will begin saving money on energy costs this year.

“We’re implementing these changes quickly to maximize savings,” Gibson said.

“We have received notice of additional funding cuts from the state and need to move quickly to capture all the savings that are available to us.”

JCS has contracted Wholesale Lighting LLC, an Ohio-based energy-efficient lighting solutions company, to replace the Metal Halide (MH) lamps currently in use at JHS and the bus garage with Lunera Susan lamps. These plug-and-play replacements, which can be installed on existing lighting fixtures without having to make any modifications, use significantly less energy than MH lamps. Lunera Susan lamps also last up to 50,000 hours-five times longer than MH lamps-which will save the district money on maintenance costs as well.

Gibson credits Ralph Dinges, assistant superintendent of construction, maintenance and facilities for JCS, and Beth Marrone, treasurer and chief business official for JCS, with leading efforts to reduce the school district’s operational costs by switching to LED lighting.

“These cost-effective changes have been made possible and obtainable from a county standpoint through Ralph and Beth’s partnership and persistence,” Gibson said.

According to Dinges, the decision to switch to LED lighting was an easy one considering the potential for energy and cost savings.

“After analyzing our operational patterns and equipment along with the costs to make these LED replacements, it was clear that making the change will benefit the school district and save us money in the long run,” he said.

Upgrading to LED lighting is one of many plans JCS has for becoming more energy efficient and cost effective.

“Thanks to the new lights, we’ll be able to cut our overall operational costs,” Gibson said. “And those savings will allow us to focus on other key areas in our education system.”