Mohawk High School and Fern Ridge Middle School are enjoying new, state-of-the-art gym lighting thanks to EPUD’s Commercial & Industrial Lighting program and public purpose funds. A portion of these funds, collected from EPUD’s Direct Service customers, will be allocated to install energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures in local school gyms at no cost to the school.

Mohawk High School and Fern Ridge Middle School are enjoying new, state-of-the-art gym lighting thanks to EPUD’s Commercial & Industrial Lighting program and public purpose funds. A portion of these funds, collected from EPUD’s Direct Service customers, will be allocated to install energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures in local school gyms at no cost to the school. EPUD will begin installation in four additional schools over the next month, including Elmira High, Noti Elementary, Pleasant Hill High, and Pleasant Hill Elementary.

“This is a very important and exciting project for us to be working on right now,” says Rob Currier, EPUD Commercial/Industrial Analyst. “It’s an opportunity for us to help our schools update their outdated lighting systems, while at the same time reducing their energy costs and creating a more environmentally friendly facility. It also helps our schools address the public health risks associated with the old lights.”

In May 2007, Oregon Senate Bill 479 required all Oregon schools to discontinue the use of R-Type metal halide lamps. These lamps do not extinguish when the lamp bulb is cracked, thereby emitting dangerous levels of ultraviolet light. This light can cause retinal burning and other eye damage to building occupants. Almost all participating schools still used the banned lamps.

The new lighting being installed by EPUD saves electricity by reducing the input wattage. It also reduces the runtime by utilizing advanced occupancy controls that turn on lights only when human movement is detected in the space.

“There have been dramatic light quality improvements,” says Rolla Webber, Superintendent of Marcola School District. “Colors look better, there are fewer shadows, it’s brighter, and the best part is, I know we’re saving money!”

The full effort is estimated to avoid 50 tons of CO2 emissions. That is equivalent to 3.9 million miles not driven or 315 cars off the road for a year. It is also equivalent to 362 acres of trees (or 180,778 trees) planted. EPUD will replace more than 120 light fixtures and save the six schools more than $6,000 in energy costs every year.

All schools in the EPUD service area are eligible to take advantage of these funds. Interested schools are encouraged to contact EPUD for more information.