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Energy-Efficient Upgrades Result in District Savings

Sewanhaka Central High School District received $613,265 in rebates from PSEG Long Island for upgrading more than 8,000 lighting fixtures in its buildings, replacing more than 400 bulbs with LED bulbs and updating refrigeration systems in five school cafeteria kitchens.

At the Board of Education meeting on Sept. 25, the district was given a big check from PSEG Major Accountant Consultant Mark Infranco to represent the rebates received. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Kevin O’Brien explained to those at the meeting that the money was used “to defray cost of projects under the Energy Performance Contract and bond referendum.”

According to PSEG Long Island, the energy-saving upgrades will also save the district more than a million kilowatt-hours on its electric bill each year, which translates to a savings of $215,000 per year. That’s significant because lighting accounts for the largest portion of energy used in commercial buildings – typically around 25-30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Sewanhaka Central High School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Ferrie said the savings and rebates, as well as funds received from the State Education Department, allowed for $18.6 million in infrastructure work to be completed at no cost to the taxpayers.