Byron Center Public Schools (BCPS) is a K-12 school district located in western Michigan, serving over 3,800 students. Like most U.S. public school districts, Byron Center strives to provide the highest level of excellence in education by careful stewardship of their limited state and local funding.
A BCPS energy saving initiative with TOGGLED and The Home Depot to replace fluorescent tubes with LED lighting at Byron Center High School exemplified this passion for continuous improvement. In addition to significantly reducing lighting electricity costs and the school’s carbon footprint, Director of Facilities Doug Gallup was pleased to deliver a better learning environment. “The improved visual acuity is obvious to students and teachers, and aside from the dollar savings it just feels great to make teaching and learning easier and more effective”, said Gallup.
Consumers Energy, the local utility, has been assisting the BCPS with rebate programs including recently increased incentives for replacing linear fluorescents with LEDs. BCPS Chief Financial Officer Marc Faber has been especially pleased with the financial returns generated by energy-saving projects and notes that, “We have counted over 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of savings through our energy programs so far, and LED lighting from TOGGLED through our key partner The Home Depot is a substantial part of our energy efficiency efforts.”
As part of its partnership with The Home Depot, TOGGLED supports large-scale energy efficient lighting initiatives by offering technical support to all 2,000+ Home Depot Pro Desks. Trent Raab is the Pro Desk Supervisor at Store 2761 in East Wyoming, Michigan, just a few miles from the Byron Center School District’s facilities. Raab coordinated the utility rebates and made sure that the installing electricians were comfortable with the retrofit process. “The energy savings plus rebates make it attractive financially”, said Raab, “Plus the electricians love the easy rewire and elimination of the ballasts.”
One unexpected benefit of the lighting retrofit occurred in the Aquatic Center. Every gallon of pool water that evaporates must be replaced, and as water is replaced the chemical balance of the pool must be monitored and corrected at a substantial cost in materials. There is less waste heat generated by an LED lighting system than by conventional lighting sources, and there has been a measurable decrease in evaporation since the new lighting was installed.
BCPS CFO Faber looks forward to more progress, saying that, “I know the collaboration of TOGGLED and The Home Depot will continue to equate to a “win-win” for the District.”