Garage light replacement project will save $80,000 annuallyLED fixtures produce as much light with a fraction of the electricity
By Michael CohenUMass Medical School Communications
January 4, 2011
The seven-year-old garage was built with metal halide lights, each of which draws 190 watts. The new fixtures use LED (light emitting diode) lights, which will throw at least as much light as the old fixtures while drawing only 51 watts of electricity.
“Retrofitting lighting is one of the quickest ways to save energy on campus,” said Matthew Stelmach, senior electrical project manager, who is overseeing the lighting project. “We expect to save up to $80,000 a year in reduced energy costs from this project.”
The total cost of the lighting upgrade is approximately $300,000, one-third of which will be covered by a rebate from National Grid, UMass Medical School’s external electricity supplier. “We are proud to be partners in sustainability with UMass Medical School and provide incentives to ensure this important work continues,” said Aleta Fazzone, regional director of community and customer management for National Grid. “We are passionate about energy efficiency, environmental protection and sustainability. We view UMass Medical School as an important customer whose vision and leadership in saving energy and being a steward of the environment spans decades.”
With the National Grid rebate, and other anticipated grants, the garage lighting upgrade will pay for itself in just two years based on the energy savings alone, Stelmach said. Furthermore, saving on the cost to run the lights is not the only benefit. The new LED lights have a projected useful life of five to seven years, while the existing lights have a rated lifespan of approximately two years, but often don’t last that long. “Our electricians spend a lot of time in that garage replacing the lamps and the ballasts, so there will be a significant savings in maintenance costs as well,” Stelmach said.
The work is being done by Renaud Electric & Communications, under the direction of Todd Manning, senior construction manager in the UMMS's facilities engineering and construction department.
“For public safety and visibility’s sake, the lights in the garage need to be on all the time, so this major reduction in energy usage is an important step for the campus,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy efficiency manager.
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