Lyon College shedding new light on energy reduction - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Lyon College shedding new light on energy reduction

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BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – Paying to power a campus can prove costly to any school, including Lyon College in Batesville.

That's why Lyon College is now taking steps to reduce its energy usage and create savings.

Staff members began about two years ago planning ways to do just that.

The first part of their plan targeted inefficient lighting on campus and other smaller upgrades.

Crews have now almost finished installing new, more energy efficient light bulbs in all 4,682 fixtures on campus.

The project has so far taken about six weeks, as the school's facilities director and his crews have gone from one building to the next replacing every light bulb.

"Throughout the dorms, we've replaced lamps and ballasts for desks," Jade Anderson said, "and lamps and ballasts throughout classrooms, offices, mechanical rooms, hallways – the works."

Anderson and other workers have also added motion sensors to light switches and ceilings in different areas.

"Offices, some hallways, mechanical rooms, labs, things like that," he added, "just to help turn off lights when they need to be and keep them from being on longer than necessary."

Every water faucet has also gotten a new aerator to reduce flow, a move that is estimated to save the college $50 per fixture per year.

All these upgrades combined carry a price tag of about $270,000, which is a cost that school officials like Ken Rueter expect to recoup rather quickly.

"In three to four years, we should have the payback on that project," Rueter said. "We're looking for savings probably in the order of about 80,000 [dollars] a year, I believe."

Rueter says to see that amount of savings each year would be a significant success.

"Those are real dollars that we won't have to be paying in utility costs that can go into other areas of our operating budget," he said.

Replacing the light bulbs and making other improvements are the first phase of a long-term plan to reduce energy usage.

The school will next try to identify some additional projects to hopefully save the campus even more money.

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