By BECKY KISER
Turning off the light switch is the most energy-saving technique you can use.
“It’s a small change in behavior that can save up to 30 percent of your energy bill,” says Mike Volker, Midwest Energy director of regulatory and energy services.
Thomas More Prep-Marian High School wants to reduce its energy costs. The lighting load in the main building, where classrooms and offices are located, is 40 percent of the private Catholic school’s electrical bill.
As part of the MoKan Take Charge Challenge, volunteers recently conducted a lighting control audit of the building.
The project was sponsored by Lutron, the world’s largest lighting electronics company, which is a headquartered in Coopersburg, Pa. The company founder invented the light dimmer switch.
Lutron donated use of its new Energy Advisor computer application, and Milwaukee Tool donated use of Laser Distance Meter Kits.
Tim Speno, whose children attend TMP and Holy Family Elementary School, arranged for the tool and software donations, valued at $8,000.
“We’re figuring how big each room is in the building,” Speno said. “We need to make changes for energy efficiency. That will include replacing light fixture bulbs to more efficient LED bulbs and installing occupancy sensors in each room. We’ll also be ‘daylight harvesting,’ by using sensors which dim the ballasts in LED light fixtures when natural sunlight is bright enough to light a room.”
“We should be able to save up to 90 percent of our lighting costs,” Speno said:
Speno is founder of E2E Summit, and formerly worked for Milwaukee Too. He hopes to get more donations for implementing the energy-efficient lighting plan at TMP. That cost is estimated at $250,000 to $300,000.