Dear Center Families,

In my April “Earth Day” themed message, I shared some eco-friendly ideas that would help your whole family get into the act of protecting the environment. One idea was curbing your electricity use and talking to your older kids about energy costs. We have also been thinking about how we can do our part here at the Center when it comes to energy. One way was to look at our lighting.

Years ago, we purchased a large quantity of fluorescent light bulbs, which we came to the end supply of earlier this year. Most businesses have switched to using the more efficient (yet more expensive) LED bulbs. In general, we knew that LED panel lighting is highly energy efficient and can save around 90% electricity as compared to what we had throughout our building. When two more long tube lights burned out in March, our handyman, Rick recommended considering the changeover. Nancy Jones contacted LighTec, Inc., an energy service company out of Merrimack, to determine how to best make the transition. They gave us three options.

The proposal that made the most sense included replacing all the ballasts and bulbs at the same time. The payback for the project would take 2.7 years, but the savings over the next 13 years will be about $41,500. After review with the Finance Committee, we determined we had the financial resources to do the switch over now. The other bonus was the bulbs and ballasts would be under warranty for 5 years.

Many of you during pick up likely crossed paths as the work got completed at the end of May. Thank you for your patience as we did this change over – over 380 bulbs were replaced! We are thrilled with our new LED lighting throughout the building and feel good about the fact that we will be disposing fewer old bulbs to landfills and will be much more energy efficient. LEDs are also safer given their durability, do not add noise to the environment, are free of any chemicals that could be hazardous for the environment, and emit 80% less greenhouse gases.

So, the next time you are in the building, take a moment and see if you notice the (greener!) difference.

With warmest regards,

Teri Ann