With a $198,275 award from the 2010 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act’s State Energy Program distributed through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, AIDB will implement its “Going Green” plan by retrofitting select lighting within its Alabama School for the Blind, Alabama School for the Deaf and Helen Keller School of Alabama campuses.
AIDB President Terry Graham said, “AIDB has a strong history of providing superior educational services to students statewide while building an infrastructure that strengthens both the local and state economies, indicative of this award.
“Thanks to ADECA’s Energy Division, we will have the opportunity to procure American-made lighting locally and retrofit our K through 12 campuses, lowering our utility costs and utilizing the savings to retain jobs in a strained economy.”
The new lighting is expected to save AIDB around $22,000 per year by using lower-wattage bulbs that provide an equivalent amount of light.
Over a 12-month period, AIDB will replace 2,154 T8 and T12 fluorescent light fixtures with more efficient T5HO lights within 19 K-12 buildings such as classrooms, gymnasiums, dormitories and cafeterias.
Additionally, AIDB will match the award with $63,974 to retrofit and replace another 695 lights.
Gov. Bob Riley said, “Improvements to boost energy efficiency are a good investment. The funds saved by taking these energy-saving measures can be used to benefit students in the classroom.”
AIDB’s Maintenance Department will implement “Going Green,” replacing 1,340 fluorescent and incandescent lights within ASD, 615 within ASB and 199 within HKS.
Lighting will be bid following Alabama state bid laws and internal AIDB policies and procedures, with local vendors given priority and American-made devices acquired.
AIDB will compare its Alabama Power bills from the year prior to bills during which the project was fully enacted to gauge energy and financial savings. Likewise, the institute will pursue Energy Star designation regarding K-12 facilities.
“This award will serve as an excellent teaching tool,” Graham said. “AIDB will provide award details and projected energy-savings information to staff, encouraging award correlation to the Alabama course of study.
“The pay back at 8.86 years will represent more than simply dollars and cents, resulting in the education of a population of school children, staff and visitors while reducing the amount of energy consumed on campus. As Helen Keller once said, ‘No one has the right to consume happiness without producing it.’ The same can be said of energy.”