Cut the Cost of your School Electricity Lighting

Smart schools are discovering ways to cut costs and at the same time improve the environment. How would your school like to save A$24,000 per year on electricity costs? 

Would that saving put a smile on your Business Manager's face and give you a chance to increase your marketing budget? That is what Covenant Christian School on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is expecting.

Covenant has over 800 students. That means a lot of classrooms and a lot of light bulbs. Actually there were 1,390 fluorescent light tubes. One day a team of technicians explored the school. They were counting light tubes and armed with light meters to record how much light was being generated. Some rooms were brighter than they needed to be. Others were darker. Some rooms had good light in places, but possibly not over the computer keyboards where it most counts for staff on computers.

The team was from the Carbon Reduction Institute. They are passionate about the environment and business minded. They are approved to generate Energy Savings Certificates by the NSW Government. They are proactively helping many organisations, including schools, reduce their carbon footprint - which is great, yet they also save businesses money.

Over a few days in the holidays a team of workers swept through the school changing over the fluorescent light tubes. The new ones are thinner, produce dramatically less heat and create a brighter light. Due to very generous government rebates the overall expense to the school is expected to take less than six months to recoup. From there on it is ongoing electricity savings for the school. The current rebate scheme only applies in NSW Australia. 

If you are interested to know more email Storyteller Neil Pierson > Yes tell me more about CRI

Quick facts:

  • 50% energy savings in common scenarios
  • lasts over 8 times longer than a standard fluorescent tube
  • includes a minimum 2 year warranty

Did you know? - Quick History of Light Bulbs

In 1879 Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan developed the first incandescent lamp. It reportedly lasted a remarkable 13.5 hours. Edison continued experimenting and created filaments which eventually lasted 1,200 hours. The humble lightbulb changed society. 

However in the last decade the Western World has recognised that traditional light bulbs are terribly inefficient in terms of energy use. Only four to six percent of the electrical power was used for visible light. The vast majority was wasted as heat. They literally burnt money. Fortunately many homes have now converted to the more energy efficient compact fluorescent lambs.

Yet schools and businesses don't tend to use lightbulbs. They use traditional long fluorescent lamps.  Developed in the 1930's these use less energy, waste less heat and last 10 to 20 times as long as an incandescent bulb. They were remarkable. Yet sadly little has changed in the design for over 70 years - even with rising electricity costs. Fortunately the New Generation of fluorescent lamps are thinner, use less raw materials to make, save 45% of energy consumption and last longer.