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LED Luminaires Provide Lesson in Energy Savings by Mark Bolton, IESNA Photos courtesy of Kenall Lighting A DISTRESSING FACT FACES THOSE WHO OPERATE K–12 EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. ACCORDING TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S (DOE’S) AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY’S (EPA’S) ENERGYSTAR, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS ARE SPENDING A STAGGERING $6 BILLION ANNUALLY ON ENERGY—MORE THAN ON TEXTBOOKS AND COMPUTERS COMBINED. THIS EQUATION IS DISTURBING, AND THERE ARE WAYS TO LOWER SCHOOLS’ UTILITY COSTS. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Build Green Schools website: If a green school saved $100,000 per year in operational costs, it is roughly enough to hire two new teachers, buy 200 new computers, or purchase 5000 new textbooks. Additionally, USGBC has determined if all new school construction and renovations went ‘green’ today, energy savings alone would total $20 billion over the next decade. California is the nation’s largest school system with more than 10,000 schools, 70 percent of which are more than two decades old. According to the California Energy Commission, schools in the state spend $700 million a year—or nearly three percent of their total budget—on energy. By employing energy efficiency in the state’s schools, the system could reduce energy bills by 20 to 40 percent, leaving funds for other educational priorities. 46 the construction specifier | july 2013 CS_July2013.indd 46 6/14/13 8:28:56 AM