MERIDEN — The school district is partnering with Eversource Energy to install new LED lighting at the city’s middle and elementary schools.
The new lights are projected to save the district about $187,000 annually in electricity and maintenance costs, helping to offset the project’s $909,000 cost to the Board of Education.
“It’s going to cost money in a sense that there’s a charge on the bill, but we’re going to save in electric costs,” Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Operations Mike Grove told the City Council’s Finance Committee last month.
Eversource offers the energy conservation program to incent municipalities to convert to LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting. LED lights are considered more energy efficient than incandescent and fluorescent lighting.
The project received approval from the City Council last month.
The lights will be installed at the city’s 10 elementary and middle schools along with the board’s central office, but not at the recently-renovated high schools because those buildings have newer, more energy-efficient lighting, Grove told councilors.
“It all comes down to the difference in the current lights...and how efficient they are and how efficient the LED’s are,” said Grove, who couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.
Several other city buildings, including City Hall, are already participating in the Eversource program, according to a resolution passed by the council. Other buildings and facilities that have converted to LED lights include the health department, police station, Meriden-Markham Airport, the Water Pollution Control Division, Fire Station Engine 1, and the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center.
The total cost of the school LED upgrades is projected at $1,075,368, according to documents provided to the City Council. Eversource is offering $212,000 in utility incentives upfront, and the Board of Education will receive a low-interest loan to pay the remaining balance.
The program is run through Eversource, but the district is contracting with Greenleaf Energy Solutions to install and maintain the lights, which have a life expectancy of 10 years.
The schools converting to LED lighting will save a combined 964,927 kilowatt hours of energy annually. The lights will be replaced at night to avoid disrupting the school day.