Lyon College shedding new light on energy reduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every water faucet has also gotten a new aerator to reduceflow, 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 torecoup rather quickly.

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

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

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

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

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

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