Jan 232013

While Gerry Martin was driving to work at the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District offices one morning last October, he had the car radio tuned to 93.7, WEEI-FM to catch the latest sports stories. And up came a spot about a contest run by Northeast Electrical Distributors and Sylvania Energy Efficiency Lighting. The sixth annual Community Sweepstakes grants a winning community up to $50,000 in energy efficient lighting fixtures, a technical survey that shows how the fixtures can be used most efficiently, and funds to install them.

Martin is the district’s Director of Business and Finance, so he noted the contest.

“I went to the web site, filled out the information and did the essay, probably in October, and right before Thanksgiving I heard from the company that was running the contest,” Martin said.

His essay was on the district’s Middle School South building; it’s efforts to conserve energy, the garden that greens up the middle plaza, and the atmosphere of the school and the district.

The School Committee received a heads-up on the win at last week’s meeting, and the award was publicly announced by Northeast Electrical this week. Martin’s prize will upgrade all 32 light fixtures in the gym, all the recessed lighting in the Performing Arts Center, and most classrooms, he said. About 15% of the building already has high efficiency lighting similar to what will be installed.

Converting the whole school should yield a savings of about 40% off each electrical bill. The Middle School South building currently uses about 43,000 kilowatts a month and has an average bill between $6500-6800, Martin said. If the estimated 40% savings is realized, the monthly electricity bill would go down to $3900-4080.

According to a press release from Northeast, “NorthEast Electrical Distributors and Sylvania will provide a Lighting Energy Audit that will recommend an appropriate energy savings solution including lamps and ballasts. Following completion of the audit, the school will be provided with an energy efficient lighting system which will achieve the maximum energy savings impact, up to a maximum of $50,000 value, including equipment and installation costs. The lighting system will be provided by NorthEast Electrical Distributors and Sylvania.”