The Clark County School District (CCSD) in Las Vegas – the fifth largest school district in the nation – retrofitted lighting at 152 of the older schools in its 357-school district and is reaping savings of $12,500 per day, based on the 180-day school year.
Nevada’s primary utility NV Energy partnered with the school district for the upgrade, which replaced existing fluorescent lights and ballasts with new T-8 fluorescents and ballasts at 152 of the older schools that had the least efficient lighting. The project was completed in December 2011, and the school district has seen savings of 21.4 million kWh annually since the retrofit, which equates to $2.25 million per year, according to Dick Cuppett, energy manager with the Clark County School District.
In addition, in fiscal 2012, the district earned $790,000 in utility rebates for reduced electricity use to help offset its approximately $40 million per year utility bill.
John Hargrove, NV Energy’s renewables program manager who oversees the utility’s Energy Smart Schools Program, said “CCSD is our second or third largest customer, and in a town like Las Vegas that’s no small feat.”
The utility worked closely with the school district over several years, pushing forward the lighting retrofit to help save the district substantial money.
Besides energy savings, the district will save maintenance dollars since staff doesn’t have to change lighting fixtures in the retrofitted schools for 10 years. Also, the new lights don’t generate as much heat as conventional bulbs, so air conditioning costs are reduced.
Cuppett employs four “night rangers” who work from midnight to 8 am and rotate through each school in the district, checking for lights, computers and heating or air conditioning systems left on.