PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Burrillville School Department will receive $146,000 in state and utility grants to replace old incandescent bulbs and lighting fixtures with more energy efficient LEDs in three school buildings.
The lighting project is made possible thanks to a combination of grants which include $100,000 in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative proceeds from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, and $46,000 from the Pascoag Utility District. The three schools receiving these lighting upgrades are William L. Callahan (grades 2-5), Steere Farm (grades 2-5) and Austin T. Levy (grades pre-K, K and 1).
"Improving the energy efficiency of Burrillville schools is an important investment in our children's future," said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "Not only will these improvements reduce energy costs for the school department, but they will also help foster a better learning environment for students and teachers by improving the quality of lighting, reducing noise and enhancing the comfort of classrooms. We are proud to help support the school department's lighting improvement project and commend the Town of Burrillville for its commitment to energy efficiency upgrades."
This is just one phase of a comprehensive energy efficiency project in which all five Burrillville schools, including the high school, middle school, and three elementary schools, are receiving a suite of upgrades. These improvements include new building insulation, boilers, HVAC systems, and smart controls which allow systems to operate only when needed, providing significant energy savings. The Austin T. Levy School will also receive a new roof during the upgrades. The project began in the spring of 2018 and is scheduled for completion by 2019.
"This is a large and complex project which will impact the quality of our schools for decades," said Bill Robinson, facilities director, Burrillville School Department. "I want to give credit to the Office of Energy Resources, Pascoag Utility District, and the Town of Burrillville for making these important upgrades possible. This is a great example of the community working together for the good of the whole."
"We at Pascoag Utility District are extremely pleased to be working with the Burrillville School Department and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources to help make these improvements," said General Manager Michael Kirkwood. "We can think of no better use of this type of funding than providing for a great learning environment for the children in this great community."
In 2015, Governor Gina M. Raimondo signed an executive order directing state agencies to lead by example in energy efficiency and clean energy practices. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources promotes the adoption of clean energy measures across public sector facilities, state agencies, as well as cities and towns. This work frequently goes unheralded, but is a critical tool in addressing constrained budgets and carbon footprints across government.
Rhode Island is a national leader for energy efficiency programs and policies, currently ranked third in the country, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.