Fluorescent lights will be no more within the Orono Public School District. The Orono School Board approved to install LED lights in district buildings during their Monday, Dec. 7 meeting.

The Bright Schools Project will replace 4,486 fixtures throughout the district. According to John Morstad, director of business services, installing LED lights could save the district approximately $129,416. Annual energy savings are expected to save approximately $92,750 and estimated equipment savings stand at around $36,666. The monthly cost of non-LED lights is about $10,785.

The estimated cost for upgrading to LED lights totals $1,070,554. The district will receive a utility rebate for $133,570, which brings the district’s investment to approximately $936,984, to be paid over 10-years. The district currently spends $164,174 per year on its electric bill. The upgrade would decrease the bill to approximately $71,424 per year. It is estimated the district would increase its savings to $129,416 after the 10 years. This does not include any air conditioning savings.

Morstad continued to say fluorescent lights are more expensive because you not only have to pay to replace the bulbs but have to dispose of the old bulbs as well. The LED fixtures last about 25-years and it’s estimated the upgrade will have paid for itself in just over seven years.

The annual savings are not the only reason the district approved the upgrade. The district is currently using 1,201,947 kilowatt-hours annually. LED lights would decrease the district’s energy usage to 430,001 kilowatt-hours annually or about 64 percent.

“This is the equivalent of taking 123 cars off the road, 309 tons of coal not being burned in the United States, and planting almost 15,000 trees,” Morstad said.

Approximately 185 rooms with the new, integrated LED flat-panels will also receive two-zone dimming and occupancy sensors. The soccer fields, football fields, the pool and gyms will also receive the upgrade

“This is an incredibly popular and an incredibly cost-effective tool. These kinds of guaranteed performance savings/performance programs, we see this a lot. This model is not unusual,” Board member Mike Bash notes, who had experience in the utility business.

Load comments