Savings Score

School district receives $25k in rebates from local electric co-op for lighting upgrades to save on energy costs

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Students returning to Boone Grove High School last fall were surprised to see the gym floor’s new look – and not just because it had been resurfaced.

The Porter Township School Corp. received $25,000 in Power Moves® rebates from Kankakee Valley REMC. The school corporation received the rebates for upgrading Boone Grove’s lighting and fixtures to more energy efficient LEDs, which are brighter and use less energy than incandescent lighting. Boone Grove High School, which is served by Kankakee Valley REMC, during the summer of 2019 installed LEDs and fixtures in the school’s gym, classrooms, and even the parking lot.

“The rebate was more of a phenomenal surprise,” said Dr. Stacey Schmidt, superintendent of the Porter Township School Corp. “With our state funding and operations, it is a struggle to fund and maintain our facilities, so $25,000 is amazing to support what we are doing here in our school system.”

The upgraded lighting system in the Boone High School gymnasium can be at “broadcast quality” at only 90 percent of the system’s capacity, said Bryan Busse, director of facilities for the Porter Township School Corp. They also can be easily dimmed and configured to provide a “stadium effect,” he added. After upgrading to the new lighting, the wear on the basketball court floor was more easily visible. That led district officials, who already were considering resurfacing the gym floor, to move forward with the project.

“Before, you had to turn on the old lights and wait 10 minutes until they got to full strength,” Busse said. “And now, you turn the LEDs on and they’re bright.”

The project included occupancy sensors in the classrooms, which automatically turn lights on when someone enters a room and turns lights off after inactivity. Schmidt noticed that the new LEDs “totally changed the light quality” throughout the school.

“It has a different feel in the classrooms,” Schmidt said. “I would never have said that lighting matters until we did this.”

The lighting upgrade was the final in a series of energy efficiency projects at Boone Grove High School. The school corporation had partnered with a contractor on upgrades to all of the district schools to help lower long-term energy costs. The multiyear effort had started in several other schools before the final projects in the high school.

“Our schools play a critical role in serving our community to prepare children and young adults to be leaders,” said Scott Sears, CEO of Kankakee Valley REMC. “We are happy to have worked with Porter Township Schools on the Power Moves rebates for the upgrades to Boone Grove High School. The long-term energy savings will continue to support Boone Grove’s mission of educating students.”

The school district also is trying to use its energy efficiency efforts to reflect the importance of social consciousness and awareness to teach students, Schmidt said.

“That is part of who we are as a district,” she added, “is trying to be responsible and also showing our kids how our consumption impacts the environment.”

• Installation of LED lighting, fixtures, and occupancy sensors throughout high school building and parking lot

• Kankakee Valley REMC

• Power Moves rebates for upgrading lighting in school and parking lot to energy efficient LEDs, saving 289,041 kilowatt-hours each year

• New LED system in gymnasium to provide stronger lighting

• $25,000 in Power Moves rebates for energy efficiency upgrades to facility

• Additional savings in monthly energy costs from reduced energy use


Download the full Boone Grove High School Case Study.