June 19, 2024

CSM Gets Big Rebate After Light Fixture Changes

CSM representatives, from left, Ron Toward, CSM executive director of the physical plant; Tony Jernigan, CSM vice president of finance; and CSM President Dr. Bradley Gottfried accept the $133,000 rebate check from Jennifer Raley, SMECO energy and technology programs manager for demand side management; and Senior Associate Nick Lourinia of ICF International. The college earned the rebate for its recent participation in the SMECO Business Solutions program.

Making some energy-saving changes on campus garnered a big payout for the College of Southern Maryland. CSM received a $133,000 rebate from Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s Business Solutions program on Dec. 6 after the college completed retrofit lighting projects in buildings at the La Plata, Prince Frederick, and Leonardtown campuses.

“The SMECO Business Solutions program is awesome,” said Tony Jernigan, CSM vice president of finance. “It allows the college to acquire more efficient equipment than would normally be acquired with existing resources. Additionally, the more efficient equipment has a long-term financial impact as the more efficient equipment effects substantial savings on operating expenses over the equipment’s life.

These savings positively impact students as the college operates more efficiently and therefore can impact the cost to run the college and, ultimately, help to minimize tuition costs.” Mr. Jernigan estimated an annual energy savings of $40,000 for the college.

Before the project, lighting fixtures on campus were three-lamp, 32-watt T-8 fluorescent tubes. Nearly 2,300 fixtures have been replaced by 42-watt LED fixtures. The college expects to save a total of 318,958 kilowatt-hours. The LED tubes that will be used in the new fixtures “are going to last at least 60,000 hours,” said Senior Associate Nick Lourinia of ICF International, which administers and delivers SMECO’s EmPOWER Maryland programs, including the Business Solutions program, for SMECO. The old lights only lasted between 10,000 and 15,000 hours, Lourinia said.

Administrators at the college are pleased with the rebate and the savings that will result. “It really makes a difference,” said CSM President Dr. Bradley Gottfried, crediting Ron Toward, CSM executive director of physical plant, with advocating that the college participate in the program.

“This rebate program sets the tone to be able to install LED lighting and reduce the labor hours needed to replace bulbs and save over 80 percent energy on lighting costs,” Mr. Toward said. “This also gives good, clean, lighted areas for safety and [lighting that is] better for your eyes when sitting at a computer.”

The financial benefits were not the only reason for the college’s actions, however. Dr. Gottfried said the college also wanted to forward it broader sustainability initiative.

“The college considers the environmental impact of all its purchases, and [SMECO’s] Business Solutions program allows the college to acquire equipment that is more efficient and less damaging to our environment,” Mr. Jernigan said. “We are very grateful to SMECO for allowing CSM to participate in this program.”

SMECO’s EmPOWER Maryland programs provide incentives for commercial and residential customers to save energy and money by installing energy-efficient appliances, constructing energy-efficient new homes, improving the energy-efficiency of existing homes and businesses, and purchasing energy-efficient lighting.

In addition to the Business Solutions program, SMECO operates the Home Performance with Energy Star program for existing homes, the Energy Star New Home program, the Lighting program, the Appliance program and more. Over the eight years of the EmPOWER Maryland programs’ existence, approximately $7 million in rebates and incentives have been awarded SMECO customers. For more about SMECO’s savings programs, see the SMECO website.

CSM was recently presented the 2016 Leadership Award by the Maryland Green Registry for outstanding contributions to environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices. For information on CSM’s environmental sustainability initiatives, visit the college’s website.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

Leave A Comment