Great savings to accrue from secondary schools’ energy intervention

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, March 17, 2017

The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) recently implemented energy efficiency and energy saving initiatives at the St. Joseph’s High and North Ruimveldt Multilateral Secondary Schools in Georgetown.

These initiatives were carried out after it was discovered that GEA could save approximately $1.9M annually in energy through the replacement of inefficient lighting appliances.

The activities which were conducted at the schools included the replacement of inefficient lighting with energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting technology, and the replacement of lighting switches with occupancy sensors.

Guyana Energy Agency

At the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School, 520 LED tubular lights, rated at 15 watts, and 50 occupancy sensors were installed. The lead engineer on the project, Brian Constantine, said that LED lights were chosen because they are advantageous in that they use 60 percent less energy than fluorescent lights, do not contain any mercury and are longer lasting.

He added that this intervention “…will save over 22.9 Mega Watts per Hour (mw) of energy annually and over $1.54M in electricity costs with a simple payback period of one year. Further, it is anticipated that there will be a reduction of about 13Kilowatts (kw) in the demand for power at this school where the previous demand for light load was 20.8kW, and the new demand now being about 7.8 kw.”

Meanwhile, at the St. Joseph’s High School, 146 LED tubular lights rated at 15 watts and 40 occupancy sensors were installed. Constantine indicated that, “this will incur savings of over 4.4 MWh of energy annually and over $493,528 in electricity costs with a simple payback period of one year.”

During a follow- up visit to the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School several students noted that the occupancy sensors installed in their classrooms were very convenient, and the LED bulbs were brighter than the florescent tubes that they replaced.

The school’s Integrated Science Teacher, Petal Marks said, “the occupancy sensors are very convenient and will help with energy conservation and efficiency as, often students and teachers would leave for the day but the lights would be left on in classrooms; this technology (occupancy sensors) helps us solve the problem.”

Constantine explained that the occupancy sensors are typically used to save energy and money as they deliver lighting on demand. He added that they can also help prevent the occurrence of lights being left on in vacant rooms when the presence of motion is not detected and at nights when the school is vacant, given that one of the key observances during the energy assessment was that class room lights were left on day and night.”

The environment will also benefit as a total of 16,408 kg of CO2 emissions will be avoided annually.

As part of the realisation of the vision to provide reliable energy in an environmentally, socially and sustainable framework, GEA intends to conduct similar exercises in other schools. The agency will also continue to provide technical support in monitoring the use and operation of the systems installed.

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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