MSD Wayne Saving Energy and Ultimately, Millions of Dollars – One Light Bulb at a Time

As Ernie Wilson twisted and tugged at the multi-colored wires hanging from the ceiling at 1220 South High School Road, he remembered his days growing up in the Mars Hill neighborhood ten minutes to the south.

“I went to grade school in this district,” he said. “I ended up at the Area 31 Career Center, and now I’m working for R & M Electric. And here I am now working at Wayne’s Education Center. Kind of a homecoming.”

The work Ernie and other electricians from R & M Electric are doing at the MSD of Wayne Township Education Center – and throughout the school district – will eventually have a huge impact. It will cut back substantially on energy use and maintenance costs. And it will save the district millions of dollars.

Ernie and his fellow electricians are removing the district’s fluorescent light bulbs, and replacing them with more energy efficient, longer lasting LED bulbs.

“The numbers attached to converting to LED lighting throughout the district are astounding,” says MSD Wayne Superintendent Jeff Butts. “The bulbs will use significantly less energy than fluorescent bulbs. That alone will reduce our energy costs by $1.2 million per year over the next decade. And because we’ll have to change the bulbs less often, we’ll save an additional $300,000 per year in maintenance costs.”

About a year ago, MSD Wayne began looking at converting the 80,000 fluorescent bulbs in the district’s buildings, parking lots, and tennis courts to LED bulbs. These bulbs are more energy efficient, and last much longer, than fluorescent bulbs.

Installing the 80,000 new LED bulbs involves a $3.6 million dollar initial expense. But because the bulbs will last an estimated 10 years, the district will see the $1.2 million annual savings in utility costs.

“This is one of many ways in which our district is working to save money and help create a better environment,” said Dr. Butts.

Conversion to LED lighting throughout the district is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 .